Breslin Bound: Girls Report Week 8

January 25, 2016

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

A total of 19 teams over four classes remain undefeated as we reach the midpoint of another girls basketball season.

But a number of others aren’t far behind – more than 140 teams have lost only two or fewer games.

Each week during the regular season, we’ll glance at four teams from each class that have caught our attention. (Results and records below are based on schedules posted at

Class A

Caledonia (10-1) – The Fighting Scots have won seven straight, kept alive with a 43-41 win over Grand Rapids Christian on Friday – and are only a one-point loss to Byron Center from perfection.

Flushing (9-2) – Following up handing Detroit Renaissance its second loss, two weeks ago, Flushing nearly doubled up solid Flint Carman-Ainsworth and further extended its lead in the Flint Metro League with a win over Swartz Creek. 

Southfield (9-0) – The Blue Jays’ perfect run so far has included only one win by fewer than 10 points – 46-42 over Harper Woods Chandler Park on Dec. 8 – and they have won 19 straight regular-season games.

St. Joseph (10-1) – The Bears trail Stevensville Lakeshore in the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference West because of a 58-55 loss to the Lancers on Dec. 11 – but St. Joseph gets a rematch Feb. 5 and is two wins better than at the midpoint last season. 

Class B

Frankenmuth (10-1) – Only undefeated Bay City John Glenn has beaten the Eagles, 41-23 on Dec. 7, and Frankenmuth has downed the next four teams chasing in the Tri-Valley Conference East including handing second-place Birch Run its only loss.

Marshall (10-1) – The Redhawks are undefeated after falling to Williamston 40-33 on opening night, and two weeks ago Marshall handed Jackson Northwest its only loss to earn a one-win lead in the Interstate 8 Athletic Conference.

Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (9-1)  -- The Fighting Irish have won nine straight since opening night, when they fell to Macomb Dakota 49-31; Notre Dame Prep hasn’t had a game closer than 10 points since Dec. 18.

Stevensville Lakeshore (9-0) – The Lancers are halfway to a third straight league title in the SMAC West and have yet to be challenged outside of St. Joseph (see above) and Elkhart Memorial (Ind.), which Lakeshore beat by a point Jan. 2.

Class C

Flint Hamady (10-0) – The reigning Class C runner-up is cruising as usual, with only one win by single digits – a 42-35 overtime victory over Burton Bendle on Jan. 8; but second-place and one-loss New Lothrop is up next.

Gobles  (11-0) – The Tigers have won 51 straight regular-season games and moved to 80-5 overall during 1,000-point scorer Ellen Doyle’s career. Gobles has won six straight by 20 or more points. 

Kalamazoo Hackett (10-0) – The Fighting Irish’s perfect first half has been driven by defense; Hackett hasn’t given up more than 35 points in a game and has held eight opponents to 29 or fewer.

Laingsburg (10-1) – A semifinalist last season who lost to eventual champion Calumet the game before Hamady did the same, Laingsburg hasn’t slowed in handing Bath its only loss and Class B Durand one of its two defeats.

Class D

Bellevue (9-1) – The Broncos will wait one more week for a rematch with Climax-Scotts, the only team to beat them this season, but are in line to improve significantly on last season’s 13-9 finish.

Big Rapids Crossroads Academy (11-1) – The reigning league champion Cougars have opened up a two-win lead in the West Michigan D with their only loss to expected Class D contender Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart. 

Pittsford (11-0) – Last season’s Class D runner-up held both of last week’s opponents to single-digit scoring – making that four teams this winter held to fewer than 10 points as the Wildcats have continued a 57-game regular-season winning streak. 

Posen (10-0) – The Vikings have been challenged rarely, with only Hillman (twice) playing to within single digits – but Posen will get a sure challenge this week from Class C Tawas (8-2).

PHOTO: Class A contender Saginaw Heritage remained undefeated with a key win last week over rival Midland Dow. (Click for more from

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.