Breslin Bound: 2022-23 Girls Report Week 11

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

February 13, 2023

It’s just about time for 12 weeks of results to provide the first signs on the roadmap for the final three weeks of this girls basketball season.

MI Student Aid

The District seeding process, based on Michigan Power Ratings (MPR), will produce the top two seeded teams in every District bracket this upcoming Sunday – and by noon those full Districts will be drawn based also on the formula for this year’s brackets determined this past Sunday. See the MPR page of the MHSAA Website for explanations of the formula and all other things MPR-related.

“Breslin Bound” is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at

Week in Review

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

1. Detroit Edison 51, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep 35 The Division 2 Pioneers (14-3) won this matchup of 2022 Finals champions, downing Division 3’s Arbor Prep (12-5).

2. Calumet 59, Escanaba 57 The Division 3 Copper Kings (13-4) bounced back from a one-point loss to Negaunee three days earlier to hand the Division 2 Eskymos (15-1) their lone loss this season.

3. Coldwater 57, Jackson Northwest 51 These two are tied atop the Interstate 8 Athletic Conference standings after Coldwater (17-1) avenged a four-point Jan. 10 loss to the Mounties (16-2).

4. Traverse City St. Francs 47, Elk Rapids 43 (OT) The Gladiators (15-2) pulled a half-game ahead of Elk Rapids in the Lake Michigan Conference standings thanks to finishing a regular-season sweep of the Elks (14-3).

5. Hancock 36, Houghton 29 The Calumet win above may have caught more eyes statewide, but Hancock’s over the rival Gremlins (15-2) clinched a share of the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference West title and moved the Bulldogs to 15-1 overall.

Forest Hills Eastern's Amelia Elms (4) looks for an open teammate during Friday's 56-40 loss to Grand Rapids Catholic Central.

Watch List

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


Temperance Bedford (18-1) The Kicking Mules are staring down a possible first league title in more than a decade, which tells you plenty about the Southeastern Conference Red as they’ve averaged 17.3 wins total over that time. They’re in line for that opportunity with three league games to play thanks to a 37-29 win over co-leader Saline (16-3) on Friday, after taking their only defeat from the Hornets – by 17 – just two weeks earlier. Bedford sits No. 8 in Division 1 MPR.

Utica Ford (16-1) The Falcons won the Macomb Area Conference White by four games, and lost this season only on Dec. 6 to Rochester (15-3). The league title was Ford’s first since 2016-17, and the 16 wins equal last season’s total and include nine over teams that are or would be .500 or better without losses to the Falcons. They’ll play Macomb Dakota in a MAC Red/White Tournament semifinal on Tuesday.


Detroit Edison (14-3) The reigning Division 2 champions moved into the top spot in Division 2 MPR this week, with a 9-1 record against in-state MHSAA opponents after opening with six of their first seven games against teams from Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. The Pioneers came back from a Jan. 31 loss to West Bloomfield (17-2) with wins over Farmington Hills Mercy (16-2), Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Detroit Cass Tech and Ypsilanti Arbor Prep (12-5). They’ll finish their in-state schedule against Frankenmuth and Grosse Pointe South.

Warren Fitzgerald (18-0) The Spartans arguably have undergone the most significant turnaround of any program, girls or boys, statewide this season after finishing 1-16 a year ago. They won the MAC Silver by five games and take on New Haven in a Tuesday MAC Bronze/Silver Tournament semifinal after winning their first meeting this season by 39. Early victories over Hazel Park (13-5) and Marine City (14-3) were signs of the program’s rebound, and no opponent has gotten within single digits since Jan. 5.


Hemlock (15-3) The Huskies wrapped up an outright Tri-Valley Conference 10-1 championship with a 72-53 win over second-place Standish-Sterling (15-3). Their only losses came to three Division 2 teams in the TVC-8 – Saginaw Swan Valley (14-4), Freeland (14-4) and Frankenmuth (15-2), and in addition they have notable wins over St. Charles (16-2), Ithaca (15-3) and Division 1 Midland Dow (11-7). The St. Charles win avenged Hemlock’s loss in last year’s District.

Niles Brandywine (15-2) The Bobcats will finish second in the Lakeland Athletic Conference with those two losses to league champion Buchanan, but can secure second alone Friday against Benton Harbor. Brandywine also has wins over league leaders Bronson (15-3), Colon (14-4) and Cassopolis (13-4). The Bobcats finished 18-3 a year ago but ran into Buchanan in their first District game, and it’s possible they could meet again although at this moment they’ll be seeded on opposite sides of a strong bracket.


Hillman (15-3) The Tigers have won 11 straight in claiming the North Star League Little Dipper championship outright after sharing it last season. Some solid wins are bolstered by strong losses as well, as Hillman has fallen only to Eastern Upper Peninsula Athletic Conference champion Cedarville (13-3), twice, and Johannesburg-Lewiston (13-5). A second matchup with Division 3 Alcona (12-5) and a season-ender against Division 3 Oscoda should provide additional postseason prep.

St. Charles (16-2) The Bulldogs can clinch a share of the Mid-State Activities Conference championship Tuesday against Ashley, which would be their third in three seasons since joining the league. What’s new is that St. Charles is in Division 4 this season, coming off a Division 3 District title in 2022, and will almost assuredly enter this year’s bracket as the top seed thanks in part to a pair of wins over Carson City-Crystal (14-4) and those losses to Hemlock and Swan Valley.

A pair of Paw Paw defenders work to wall off Otsego's Madison Hoffman during their matchup earlier this season.

Can’t-Miss Contests

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

Wednesday – Holt (15-2) at Flint Carman-Ainsworth (14-0) – Both are moving in on potential league championships but also are building high hopes for the Division 1 tournament.

Friday – Goodrich (17-1) at Lake Fenton (19-0) – Lake Fenton leads the Flint Metro League Stars by a game thanks to its 50-44 win over Goodrich on Jan. 20, but this will decide if the title is shared or outright.

Saturday – Haslett (19-0) at Rockford (16-1) – These league leaders also have high postseason hopes, with Rockford No. 1 in Division 1 MPR and Haslett No. 5 in Division 2.

Saturday – Detroit Catholic High School League finals – Championship games in both brackets will be played at University of Detroit Mercy.

Sunday – Detroit Public Schools League final – The championship game will tip off at 3 p.m. at Wayne State University.'s weekly “Breslin Bound” previews and reviews 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.

PHOTOS (Top) Farmington Hills Mercy's Owynn Evans runs the offense as her team clinched a share of the Catholic League Central championship last week with a 60-55 win over Dearborn Divine Child. (Middle) Ada Forest Hills Eastern's Amelia Elms (4) looks for an open teammate during Friday's 56-40 loss to Grand Rapids Catholic Central. (Below) A pair of Paw Paw defenders work to wall off Otsego's Madison Hoffman during their matchup earlier this season. (Photos by Douglas Bargerstock, Michigan Sports Photo and Gary Shook, respectively.)

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.