Breslin Bound: Girls Report Week 6

January 14, 2020

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor 

This week will see the midpoint of this 2019-20 girls basketball season, a logical time to take a look at who has done what with half the schedule played for many teams.

But there’s little time to pause with a number of potential league-shaping games coming up over the next five days. Some are noted below in our “Can’t-Miss Contests,” while another 5-6 surely will guide which teams we feature in next week’s report.

“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. Detroit Edison 65, East Lansing 48 – These two could again end up at Finals weekend in March in Divisions 2 and 1, respectively, and reigning D2 champ Edison pulled away in this one to hand the Trojans their lone defeat.

2. Farmington Hills Mercy 46, Bloomfield Hills Marian 34 – The Marlins handed rival Marian its first Detroit Catholic League Central loss since 2017-18, taking a slight lead in the league standings with the rematch Jan. 28.

3. Manton 58, Maple City Glen Lake 54 – The Rangers moved to 8-0 and also got a look at another top Division 3 team they may see again at tournament time.

4. Frankenmuth 58, Essexville Garber 22 – Frankenmuth reached 900 wins as a program, going back to 1973, and with another win Friday the Eagles moved to 901-179 all-time midway through their 47th season.

5. Saline 40, Dexter 18 – These two may both end up Southeastern Conference champions in separate divisions, and Dexter’s was the first loss between them this winter.

Watch List

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


Macomb Dakota (8-0) The Macomb Area Conference Red annually is considered one of the most competitive leagues statewide. Dakota has a slight hold on first place thanks to playing one more league game than Grosse Pointe South so far and also after a 52-45 win over contender Utica Eisenhower on Friday. Dakota plays Grosse Pointe South for the first time this Friday.

West Bloomfield (7-2) The Lakers were Oakland Activities Association White champions last season, and after changing divisions have taken the higher-regarded OAA Red by storm. West Bloomfield last week handed first league losses this season to reigning Red champion Southfield Arts & Technology and third-place Clarkston, and can finish the first half of the league schedule undefeated with a win this Friday over reigning Red runner-up Royal Oak.


Frankenmuth (7-1) The Eagles, coming off a third-place finish in the Tri-Valley Conference East last season, are first in the new-look league this winter and coming off a milestone win (see above). They’ve dealt the only loss this winter to one of the second-place teams, Standish-Sterling, and take on the other second-place team Freeland on Friday. Frankenmuth’s lone loss was 59-52 to Division 1 power DeWitt.

Marine City (8-1) After finishing third in the Macomb Area Conference Gold last season, as St. Clair won the league title, Marine City is making a move as it leads the league coming off Friday’s 54-28 win over the Saints. The Mariners could equal last season’s 13 wins by the end of this month – and their lone loss was to MAC Blue leader Macomb L’Anse Creuse North a month ago.


Centreville (8-0) The Bulldogs have won 45 straight regular-season games and three straight league titles, and have opened up a one-game lead on Decatur and Bloomingdale this winter in the Southwest 10 Conference. Centreville defeated Bloomingdale 44-33 last week and sees Decatur for the first of two meetings Tuesday. That 11-point win over the Cardinals was the closest any of the first six league opponents has come to catching the Bulldogs.

Schoolcraft (5-1) These Eagles opened with a loss to now one-loss Edwardsburg, but haven’t fallen since and handed first league defeats last week to both Kalamazoo Hackett and Kalamazoo Christian. Schoolcraft has won 25 straight Southwestern Athletic Conference Valley games going back to 2016-17 and including four total so far this winter.


Ewen-Trout Creek (7-1) The Panthers have won seven straight since falling 49-47 to Calumet in their season opener. Along the way they’ve handed the lone loss to Baraga and last Thursday beat L’Anse 61-53 to take over first place alone in the Copper Mountain Conference Porcupine Mountain division. E-TC is aiming for a fourth-straight league title and also won its District last season.

Pittsford (9-0) First-year coach Aaron Davis has Pittsford looking like it has much of the last decade, with a run of double-digit wins and sitting first in the Southern Central Athletic Association East. Only Reading, in the Wildcats’ first game back from a two-week break, has come closer than 12 points – with Pittsford holding on for a 43-40 nonleague win. The Wildcats have won six straight league titles.

Can't-Miss Contests

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

Tuesday – Saline (8-0) at Temperance Bedford (7-0) – The Southeastern Conference Red opener features two undefeated teams.

Wednesday – St. Ignace (5-1) at Pickford (9-0) – Avenging last season’s 84-41 District loss to reigning Division 4 runner-up St. Ignace would be another giant step for surging Pickford.

Friday – Manton (9-0) at Lake City (7-1) – They are tied for first in the Highland Conference; last season Manton won the league but Lake City made the Division 3 Semifinals.

Friday – Eaton Rapids (7-1) at Portland (7-1) – These two are tied for first in the Capital Area Activities Conference White as they near the midpoint of the league schedule.

Saturday – Detroit Edison (8-0) at Adrian Lenawee Christian (7-1) – The reigning Division 4 champion hosts the reigning title winner from Division 2, and Edison’s Gabrielle Elliott vs. Lenawee Christian’s Bree Salenbien should be one of the best individual matchups statewide this season.

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: Frankenmuth defeated Saginaw Swan Valley on Friday for win No. 901 in program history. (Photo by Terry Lyons.)

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.