Breslin Bound: Girls Report Week 9

January 29, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Only a month's worth of games remain before the start of MHSAA girls basketball District tournaments. And the teams that made this week's list of high performers surely have hit their strides.

A few have been on point since opening night. Most of the rest this week have suffered only close losses to top competition or have avenged one of their early-season defeats. 

Results and overall records below are drawn from our MHSAA Score Center. Are either incorrect? Please help us make the necessary fixes after filling in this brief registration

1. Reese (13-0) – The Rockets are weeks away from finishing their second-straight perfect regular season, and highly-touted Saginaw Nouvel, by 10 points, was only opponent to come that close.

2. Lansing Christian (13-0) – This might be the best Pilgrims team since it won back-to-back Class D titles in 2003-04; Lansing Christian has played a number of larger schools, and only four total have come within 10 points.

3. Farmington Hills Harrison (13-1) – The Hawks have won 12 straight since falling to Oxford by three on the last day of November; Harrison avenged that with a 48-27 win over Oxford last week.

4. Kent City (12-1) – This level of success is the norm for Kent City, and it's perfect since falling by two to Class A Muskegon in the Eagles’ opener.

5. Petoskey (11-2) – The Northmen have won eight straight since their last loss, to Cadillac, on Dec. 14; they avenged that loss with a 41-40 win over Cadillac on Friday.

6. Haslett (10-2) – Only DeWitt and Saginaw Nouvel, by a combined nine points, have slowed the Vikings this season; Haslett has won six of its last seven.

7. Portland St. Patrick (12-1) – The Shamrocks, Class D Semifinalists last season, have won nine straight with their only loss to Class C Pewamo-Westphalia on Dec. 11.

8. St. Clair Shores South Lake (7-4) – South Lake has won seven straight since opening 0-4; the Cavaliers’ most recent win also was Center Line’s first loss, 45-40.

9. Carson City-Crystal (10-2) – It’s tough to remember the Eagles won only two games two seasons ago; they've lost only two this winter, and already avenged one defeat, to Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart.

10. Dearborn Divine Child (8-2) – Divine Child’s 2-2 start included close losses to Nouvel and equally-talented Westland John Glenn. The Falcons have won the close ones too, with four wins by six or fewer points.

PHOTO: Farmington Hills Harrison (yellow and green uniforms) has won 12 straight games, including this one over Detroit Consortium earlier this season. (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.