Breslin Bound: Girls Report Week 1

December 5, 2016

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Welcome to the second week of the 2016-17 girls basketball season – and this winter’s first renovated “Breslin Bound” report, powered by MI Student Aid.

Over the last few seasons, we’ve weekly posted looks at teams to watch in each class with an eye on the end-of-season MHSAA Tournament. We’re changing things up and expanding a little too to make sure you know about all of the most significant scores from the week that was – like, for example, two of last year’s MHSAA champions suffering losses over the first seven days of this season – plus a few ideas on what games could be especially important in the week to come.

Results and schedules are based on what’s published for each school at To offer corrections or missing scores, please contact me at [email protected].  

Week in Review

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

1. Bloomfield Hills Marian 56, Warren Cousino 42 – The Mustangs bounced back from an opening-night loss to hand reigning Class A champion Cousino a double-digit defeat at University of Detroit Mercy.

2. Williamston 37, Marshall 31 – The Hornets were District champs a year ago but can set their sights higher, especially after handing this loss to the reigning Class B champion Redhawks.

3. Ypsilanti Arbor Prep 52, Muskegon Mona Shores 39 – The Sailors rightly have Class A title aspirations this winter, but reigning Class C champion Arbor Prep is loaded with future college players as well and should be a contender despite moving into Class B.

4. Manistee 50, Frankfort 34 – One of the few hiccups on Manistee’s run to the Class B Quarterfinals last season was a loss in the regular-season finale to Frankfort, which won 18 games total as the Chippewas finished 21-4.

5. Dearborn 50, Northville 49 – The Mustangs beat Dearborn 49-38 on opening night last season and ended the winter in the Class A Quarterfinals; Dearborn, which won 16 games last season, will be hoping for similar momentum.

Watch List

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


Canton (2-0) – The Chiefs are coming off a league title and 17-5 record after ending last season in the District Final; they look poised for more after a week that included handing Detroit Cass Tech a 56-30 defeat and avenging last season’s opening loss to Marian with a 43-40 victory over the Mustangs.

Marquette (2-0) – The Redettes are seeking their third straight 20-win season and finished last week with a 39-38 victory over Brighton, which had opened with two wins.


Edwardsburg (2-0) – The Eddies tied for second last season in the Wolverine Conference South, just a win behind champion Sturgis; they have the upper hand early this time after beating Sturgis 61-38 following a 37-32 opening-night win over Niles.

Ypsilanti Arbor Prep (3-0) – The Gators are wasting no time making their Class B presence felt after winning Class C a year ago; the win over Mona Shores is proof last winter’s 25-2 record could transfer, especially since Arbor Prep played mostly bigger schools last regular season too.


Charlevoix (2-0) – Much is expected from 6-foot-1 freshman Elise Stuck, and she’s made good by turning last season’s 36-point loss to Petoskey in a 43-39 win this time and last year’s 28-point defeat to Cheboygan into a 60-32 victory for the Rayders.

Michigan Center (1-0) – The Cardinals have played only one game, but hope a 43-40 overtime win over Jonesville proves telling. Last season, Michigan Center fell by nine to Jonesville and went on to finish 6-15 while Jonesville was 19-3.


Portland St. Patrick (2-0) – An up-and-down 2015-16 saw St. Patrick enter the ostseason with a losing record but reach its Regional Final; all signs point to keeping the good times rolling after a first week with wins over Lansing Christian (43-36) and Fulton (55-51).

Wolverine (2-0) – With nine losses over its final 10 games last winter, Wolverine slid to a 6-14 finish. The Wildcats are one-third of the way to equaling their success after beating Northport 39-33 in overtime and then Atlanta.

Can't-Miss Contests

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

Tuesday: East Lansing (1-0) at DeWitt (2-0) – These two Lansing-area Class A powers regularly meet, with DeWitt claiming a 12-point win last winter before both went on to division championships in the Capital Area Activities Conference.

Tuesday: Muskegon (1-0) at Grand Rapids Catholic Central (1-1) – After graduating the Miss Basketball runner-up from a year ago, the Big Reds can continue to see how they might measure up against an annual Class B power.

Tuesday: Reese (1-1) at Millington (1-0) – These two combined to go 32-13 last season, with Reese winning their lone meeting by 18 points; the Rockets are coming off an 11-point win over Frankenmuth, which won Millington’s Tri-Valley Conference East last winter.

Wednesday: Morenci (1-1) at Pittsford (2-0) – The reigning Class D champion Wildcats have increased their winning streak to 29 straight; Morenci won 13 games last season before falling to Pittsford in their District.

Friday: Sault Ste. Marie (1-0) at St. Ignace (0-0) – The Blue Devils’ 15-6 run last season included a split with the Straits Area Conference rival Saints, who as usual ended up in a Class C Quarterfinal.  

Second Half’s weekly “Breslin Bound” reports are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Student Financial Services Bureau 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, including various student financial assistance programs to help make college more affordable for Michigan students. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 savings programs (MET/MESP) and eight additional aid programs within its Student Scholarships and Grants division. Click for more information and connect with MI Student Aid on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid. 

PHOTO: Flint Carman-Ainsworth (defending) earned its first win of the season Friday, 65-26 over Swartz Creek. (Click for more from Varsity Monthly.)  

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.