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Geffre makes impact as Davies beats Devils Lake to reach EDC title game

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FARGO—Grace Geffre got a bucket to go down despite a foul. She pumped her fists as teammates surrounded her in support.

This was a long time coming for Geffre, who tore her ACL and meniscus last season. With her cast, she couldn't even sit on the bench as she watched her Fargo Davies teammates go to the state tournament. Through daily rehabilitation, she slowly worked her way back to the Eagles rotation in January and finally felt back to speed just a couple weeks ago.

Her strength still isn't back fully. But that was tough to see even with the brace on her right knee.

Geffre scored 13 points as No. 1-seeded Davies cruised to a 64-49 win over No. 4-seeded Devils Lake in the East Region girls basketball semifinals on Friday, March 2, at Scheels Center at Sanford Health Athletic Complex. The Eagles advance to the East Region championship for the second year in a row.

"It's special now to be able to play after so long," Geffre said. "I just try to be in the moment because anything can change at any time."

Geffre didn't start for the Eagles when they last played at Devils Lake and lost in January. But the Eagles learned how to attack the Firebirds' full-court press in that loss.

Davies struggled with it early as Devils Lake took an early lead on a pair of 3-pointers by Mattea Vetsch, who ended with a game-high 17 points. Then Davies attacked the Firebirds full-court press with aggressive, down court passes that left the Eagles with wide open layups.

A pair of Eagles 3-pointers sparked a 22-3 run in the final eight minutes of the first half.

"We weren't intense on offense," Firebirds head coach Justin Klein said. "We couldn't score and keep up with them."

Even as Davies leading scorer Raegan Linster got into foul trouble, the Eagles supporting cast kept the lead extended in the second half. Alyssa Paper recorded a double-double with 15 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.

"We started to push the ball up the floor a lot more. We handled it this time around," Paper said. "We figured it out, made the court more open and got ourselves open."

The Eagles guarantee themselves a spot in the state tournament and get back to the East Region championship after losing to Fargo Shanley there last season.

"We've been working for this all year," Paper said. "We're just excited to play."

DEVILS LAKE (17-6): Vetsch 7 0-0 17, Johnson 1 7-9 9, Mertens 2 1-5 5, Martinson 2 0-6 4, Olson 1 0-1 3, Palmer 1 0-0 3, Toso 1 0-0 2, Windjue 1 0-0 2, Brown 0 2-4 2, Heilman 0 1-2 1, Schneider 0 1-2 1. Totals 16 12-29 49.

FARGO DAVIES (20-3): Paper 7 1-4 15, Geffre 6 0-1 13, Linster 4 1-2 10, Kottsick 3 2-2 9, Simle-Askew 3 2-4 8, Fey 3 2-3 8, Wacha 0 1-1 1. Totals 26 9-17 64.

Half: FD 38, DL 19. 3-point goals: Vetsch 3, Olson, Palmer, Geffre, Linster, Kottsick. Total fouls: DL 22, FD 29. Fouled out: Linster. Rebounds: DL 32 (Toso 7), FD 38 (Paper 15). Assists: DL 8 (Toso 3), FD 14 (Linster 3, Kottsick 3). Turnovers: DL 22, FD 29.