Year after tornado, Dexter team vying for state championship

Year after tornado, Dexter girl's basketball team vying for championship

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The Dexter High School girl's basketball team practices in preparation for a semifinal game on Friday.  (Credit: Fox 2 News) The Dexter High School girl's basketball team practices in preparation for a semifinal game on Friday. (Credit: Fox 2 News)
DEXTER, Mich. (WJBK) -

Friday will mark one year since a destructive winter tornado hit metro Detroit. The Village of Dexter in Washtenaw County was hardest hit.

More than 200 homes were damaged and 20 houses were destroyed. The good news was there were no fatalities or serious injuries. At that time, Fox 2 cameras revealed the destruction on York and Noble in the Huron Farms subdivision.

One year later, if you return to York and Noble, you would never know a twister touched down. A busy summer of rebuilding left a sparkling new neighborhood.

"It's just amazing how everybody's come together, and the neighborhood really has character now," said Todd Stites.

A basketball team has also rebounded from the storm.

"I was at home when the storm came through," said Emma Kill.

She is the center on the Dexter High School girl's basketball team.

"There were houses that were completely like flattened," she said. "We needed a new roof, new siding, all the walls in our house had to be repainted because they were cracked."

The team became a family and faced adversity head on just like the town of Dexter. Everyone went back to work or school while rebuilding their homes and their lives.

The team turned their pain into a dream. They are now hoping to become state champs. Much of the town will follow the team to East Lansing on Friday afternoon to cheer the girls on versus Grosse Pointe South in the Class A state semifinals at Michigan State's Breslin Center.

It's hard to tell. Did the town pick up the team or did the team pick up the town?

"Dexter, we're small, but we're tight," said guard Riley McDonald. "If something like this happens, everyone will come together and be supportive and everything. We had people from... Chelsea and all these other different towns around us just come because they knew what an impact the tornado had on us and they just wanted to help."

"It was great to see everybody rally around and start helping each other, and the same kind of [feeling] has happened now," said head coach Mike Bavineau. "Now we've put ourselves in a really good, positive thing, and the town is again rallying around this basketball team."

This is a special season for Dexter's girls, and they want to thank the town for cheering them on.

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