Bernotas’ clutch free throws advance Breckenridge in playoffs

Breckenridge point guard Johnica Bernotas dribbles the basketball across the timeline as Hillcrest guard Ruby Peterson (24) awaits her on the other side. The Cowgirls were most comfortable with their star freshman controlling the ball, as Bernotas willed her team to victory with a game-high 25 points.

When Breckenridge (17-8) clinched the No. 3 seed in Section 6A playoffs, they didn’t exactly receive a gift after posting a top-20 season in Minnesota’s Class 1A girls basketball rankings. The Cowgirls hosted a very capable No. 6 seed, Hillcrest Lutheran Academy (18-10), in Thursday’s play-in round.

The Comets put the Cowgirls on upset alert, but the home squad prevailed, 67-62, behind 25 points from freshman point guard Johnica Bernotas. The young baller was unfazed during a fiery comeback attempt, drilling 13-of-17 free throws to seal the win. Bernotas was electric across the board, recording her first double-double of the season with 10 rebounds and navigating the offense with a game-high five assists.

Bernotas’ clutch free throws advance Breckenridge in playoffs

Cowgirls senior Abby Johnson (right) knocked down a pair of threes at the start of the game, keeping the Comets at bay for most of the first half. Johnson scored 12 points to help Breckenridge reach the Section 6A Quarterfinals.

Bernotas’ clutch free throws advance Breckenridge in playoffs

Addie Twidwell sizes up an easy basket at the low block, bullying her way to the rack.

Sports Reporter

Robert has spent over a decade reporting Twin Towns Area athletics, coaching baseball and officiating sporting events. From MMA to golf, he covers the entire sports spectrum through stories, photos and videos. He was named Rookie of the Year in 2021 by the North Dakota Newspaper Association.