Breslin Bound: Boys Report Week 5

January 14, 2020

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

After slightly more than a quarter of the regular season for most Michigan high school boys basketball teams, nearly 10 percent remain undefeated. Many others have fallen just once with midseason approaching. 

Some of that could change this weekend, which could be one of the most exciting of the winter with multiple big-time showcases featuring some of the state's top teams.

Check out some of the matchups that especially pop off the page below, but also see the full schedule on the MHSAA Score Center

“Breslin Bound” is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at Send corrections or missing scores to [email protected].

Week in Review

The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results: 

1. Hudsonville Unity Christian 50, Holland West Ottawa 48 The reigning Division 2 champion won twice last week by a combined five points, Tuesday handing West Ottawa its only loss and then edging Holland Christian by three Friday.

2. Ann Arbor Huron 47, North Farmington 41 – The River Rats remained unbeaten with another solid win, sending North Farmington to 7-2.

3. Detroit Edison 60, Ferndale 55 – A qualifier for Breslin the last three seasons, the Division 3 Pioneers added another impressive win to a growing list this winter against Division 2 notable Ferndale.

4. Waterford Mott 60, Grand Blanc 57 – Add Mott to Division 1 teams to keep an eye on after this impressive victory at the Oakland County Tip-Off Classic.

5. Escanaba 63, Marquette 56 – The Eskymos sit just 4-4 overall, but 3-0 and first in the Great Northern Conference after this win over the reigning league champion.

Watch List

With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:


Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (5-2) Just a season after finishing last in the Detroit Catholic League Central with a 0-8 conference record, the Warriors quickly are tied atop the standings after breaking that streak with the weekend’s 79-67 win over Warren De La Salle Collegiate. Brother Rice ended last winter 11-13 overall, but did show a spark winning a District title. The Warriors lost to solid opponents Southfield Christian and Macomb Dakota during the second half of this past December, but otherwise have five double-digit wins.

Wyoming (6-0) The Wolves are looking at a big jump in 2019-20 after last year’s 10-12 finish. They opened the Ottawa-Kent Conference Gold schedule Friday with an 80-72 win over Grand Rapids South Christian, and Wyoming also owns solid early double-digit wins over Grand Rapids Northview and Byron Center. Wyoming was 16-6 and won the Gold only two seasons ago, so a bounce-back shouldn’t stun many.


Cadillac (5-0) With wins already over both 2018-19 Big North Conference co-champions Petoskey and Traverse City Central, Cadillac sits atop the standings while seeking its first BNC title since sharing it in 2012-13. Before defeating Petoskey 46-37 on Thursday, Cadillac opened last week with another solid victory 48-42 over nonleague Big Rapids. The nonleague schedule includes unbeaten Mount Pleasant and McBain as well during the final weeks before District play, great prep for a possible postseason run.

Clio (7-0) Make way for the Mustangs. After flipping their 2017-18 finish of 5-15 to go 15-5 last winter, they’ve flown out of the gate. Clio already has avenged a last-season loss to Flushing – 54-50 last week and their only win so far by fewer than 10 points. And after finishing second last season in the formerly one-division Flint Metro League, the Mustangs sit tied for first in the first-year Stars division with also-undefeated Goodrich.


Fennville (5-1) The Blackhawks bounced back from their lone loss last week to nonleague Niles Brandywine with a 42-38 win Friday over Gobles that put Fennville first alone atop the Southwestern Athletic Conference Lakeshore. Fennville also has handed reigning champion Coloma its only league loss. The Blackhawks are coming off a third-place Lakeshore finish and 10-11 overall run last winter.

Munising (8-0) The Mustangs won their league and a Division 4 District title last season, but at least for the playoffs will face a different path playing now in Division 3. The start has been similar, if not much better, however. Munising has avenged last season’s early losses to Gwinn and Rapid River and extended its perfect start Monday with an overtime win over Manistique.


Frankfort (5-0) The Panthers have picked right back up after last year’s 21-6 run and Division 4 runner-up finish. They’ve already avenged last season’s loss to Onekama with a 51-46 win Dec. 19, and they join Maple City Glen Lake as the two teams undefeated in Northwest Conference play – with Glen Lake coming to Frankfort tonight. Glen Lake defeated Frankfort twice last winter.

Pellston (5-0) Featuring one of the state’s leading scorers in Blake Cassidy, the Hornets are one of two teams unbeaten early in Ski Valley Conference play after winning the league and making the Division 4 Quarterfinals a year ago. They’ve won comfortably but also shown the ability to win close, with a three-point victory over Harbor Springs and one-pointer versus Fife Lake Forest Area – which both sit currently at 4-2.

Can't-Miss Contests

Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up: 

Tuesday – Maple City Glen Lake (5-1) at Frankfort (5-0) – These are the main contenders in the Northwest Conference, and Frankfort is looking to avenge multiple losses from last season to the reigning champion Lakers.  

Friday – Detroit Douglass (7-1) at Detroit Martin Luther King (7-2) – This is likely to decide the champion in the Detroit Public School League East; King won last year’s meeting by 19.

Saturday – Benton Harbor (7-1) vs. Grand Rapids Catholic Central (5-1) at Ottawa Hills – This rematch of the 2018 Class B championship game highlights the annual Floyd Mayweather Classic.

Saturday – Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (6-0) vs. Flint Beecher (6-1) at Ferndale – These contenders in Divisions 1 and 3, respectively, face off in one of the top matchups at the Freedom Classic.

Saturday – Muskegon (3-1) at Ferndale (3-2) – This Freedom Classic matchup features two highly-regarded teams that could break out as January continues to roll along.

Second Half’s weekly “Breslin Bound” reports are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

PHOTO: Muskegon fell Jan. 4 to Chicago Curie, its only defeat this season. (Photo by Tim Reilly.)

Little Provides Major Stride as 1st Woman to Officiate Boys Hoops Final since 1995

By Keith Dunlap
Special for

April 13, 2023

Delonda Little was already a trailblazer to many before this year’s MHSAA Boys Basketball Finals.

Greater DetroitBut what happened last month at Breslin Center made her even more of one on a statewide level.

A referee and assigner for 20 years in the Detroit area, Little is a female boys and girls basketball official who mentors both male and female referees – no matter the gender or level, as she officiates high school and college games.

Officials often go to Little for guidance, direction and assignments, which has made her respected for years throughout Metro Detroit in the prep basketball community. Then, her status as a trailblazer grew even more.

Little was assigned as an official for the Division 3 Boys Basketball Final between Flint Beecher and Traverse City St. Francis, and she became the first female referee to officiate an MHSAA Boys Basketball Final since Traverse City’s Barb Beckett 1995.

“It was a very good feeling to know I was the one selected,” said Little, who officiated the Final with Matt Olson and Zach Porritt.  

In fact, while attending a Semifinal game the Friday before the Final, Little received a phone call from an area code she didn’t recognize.

She answered, and it was Beckett.

“At first I didn’t know the name,” Little said. “I said, ‘No, I don’t know you, but that’s fine.’”

Beckett then explained she was the first female referee to be assigned a Boys Basketball Final, and just wanted to offer support to Little.

At that point, Little became excited and thankful she answered the call.

“It was very nice to hear from her because she wanted to reach out and if not pass the torch, to congratulate me,” Little said.

Little, 51, said she found out she was going to be refereeing the Division 3 boys championship game just before the start of the postseason when she received an email from the MHSAA.

“I’m looking at the email and I’m like, boys?” Little said. “I was shocked.”

But she was shocked in a good way, and obviously excited for the honor.

Little monitors the action between Flint Beecher and Traverse City St. Francis.Little didn’t find out until a couple of days before the St. Francis/Beecher contest that she would be officiating that specific championship game, but the Monday of boys championship week was when she really started to receive congratulations from friends and colleagues.

That’s when an article came out in the Detroit News detailing her selection, which led to countless calls, texts and congratulatory messages on social media.

“I couldn’t even (keep up with the comments),” she said. “That’s how overwhelming the actual tags were. It came from all across the state with officials, men and women, because I do women’s college (games). Some of the college ladies were reaching out. I was getting all the hoopla before the game.”

Little said she normally doesn’t get nervous for games, but not having some nerves became a bit harder once so many people knew of her achievement.

However, she settled into a normal routine quickly once the game started.

“I wanted to get it done, get it over with and do well,” she said.

Little did do well, which is no surprise to everyone who knew her before she officiated on the boys championship stage.

It was just another feather in the cap for Little, who in 2016 became the first woman to officiate a boys Detroit Public School League championship game.

“Delonda is one of the top officials in the Detroit area, and our staff doesn’t look at Delonda as a female working a boys game – we see one of the top officials in Detroit working a basketball game,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “There are females officiating in the NBA and female officials in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The aspect that made Delonda’s selection for this MHSAA championship game nearly unique will soon be the norm at all levels of athletics.”     

Little graduated from Detroit Osborn in 1989 and starred on the basketball court at Wayne State, earning induction into WSU’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.

Her day job is as an officer for the Michigan Department of Corrections, but her passion is officiating. She’s been an MHSAA-registered official for basketball for two decades and also was registered for volleyball for four years. This past fall she registered for football for the first time.

“I get something from it because it keeps me in shape, I love the people I work with and I like the kids,” Little said. “You are always teaching, and I like training the newer officials. I just enjoy it. I don’t know what I’d be doing if I wasn’t refereeing.”

Going forward, Little hopes her championship game assignment will now be an inspiration for other female referees.

“There aren’t very many women who would like to work boys basketball or feel comfortable,” Little said. “If that’s something they desire, I’m hoping more women are selected to work the games if they feel comfortable.”

Keith DunlapKeith Dunlap has served in Detroit-area sports media for more than two decades, including as a sportswriter at the Oakland Press from 2001-16 primarily covering high school sports but also college and professional teams. His bylines also have appeared in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Detroit Free Press, the Houston Chronicle and the Boston Globe. He served as the administrator for the Oakland Activities Association’s website from 2017-2020. Contact him at [email protected] with story ideas for Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties

PHOTOS (Top) Delonda Little takes her position on the court during the Division 3 Boys Basketball Final on March 25 at Breslin Center. (Middle) Little monitors the action between Flint Beecher and Traverse City St. Francis.