Breslin Bound: Boys Report Week 8

January 28, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Eight weeks of success is enough to expect that any team still undefeated – like our top team among last week's high performers – should keep making noise over the month and a half to come. 

But there's something to be said about starting anew on Jan. 1. And we've got a few on this week's list as well that have surged since the calendar year got a new start.

Remember, results and overall records below are those listed in our MHSAA Score Center. Are either incorrect? Please help us out after filling in this brief registration

1. Big Rapids (11-0) – The Cardinals have won 20 straight regular-season games dating back to the mid-point of last winter and lead the Central State Activities Association.

2. Rochester Adams (10-1) – The Highlanders’ lone loss came against Oxford all the way back on Dec. 14; they’ve won four straight by double figures and are just two wins from equaling last season’s total.

3. Zeeland East (10-2) – The Chix are in first place by a win over two others in the O-K Black and have won four straight including beating league favorite Muskegon 67-61 on Friday.

4. Allen Park Inter-City Baptist (10-2) – Before Saturday’s 14-point loss to Detroit Country Day, the Chargers had won three straight and earlier this month edged reigning Class D champion Southfield Christian by a point.

5. Lansing Waverly (9-2) – The Warriors opened this season with losses to Holt and Jackson Lumen Christi by a combined five points, but since have won nine straight including avenging that loss to the Titans on Friday.

6. Bessemer (10-1) – The Speedboys are undefeated in-state, with their only loss to Washburn, Wis., after winning 10 games total last season.

7. Crystal Falls Forest Park (6-3) – The Trojans opened this winter with two losses, but are on a roll and edged 2012 Class D Semifinalist Carney-Nadeau on Friday, 70-67.

8. Pittsford (9-2) – The Wildcats hit a rough patch from Jan. 11-15, when they lost two games; otherwise, they’re undefeated this season.  

9. Temperance Bedford (8-1) – Despite losing to Sylvania Southview of Ohio on Saturday, the Kicking Mules opened with eight straight wins and beat Ann Arbor Pioneer 56-54 the night before.

10. Canton (7-5) – The Chiefs also are running well in January with five straight wins including Friday’s 55-50 victory over Westland John Glenn which avenged their last lost before the run, 53-48 to John Glenn on Jan. 4. 

PHOTO: Canton players (in red) try to gather a loose ball during a game against Cincinnati Withrow on Dec. 28 at Detroit County Day. (Click to see more at

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.