NEW ULM - It was the last chance for the New Ulm girls basketball team to win a regular season game for the first time in two years on Saturday afternoon.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, they were matched up against the Worthington Trojans, a team that has won 10 of its last 12 games.
The Trojans jumped out to a 20-plus point lead early in the game and never looked back as they coasted to a 81-36 victory in nonconference action.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
A Worthington defender tries to guard New Ulm’s Nicole Dittrich (41) as she drives to the basket during the first half Saturday at NUHS.
After experiencing a winless season last year, New Ulm head coach Matt Dick came into this season with a "get better every day" attitude and "eventually the wins will come."
Although the Eagles failed to win a game, Dick said he saw improvement this season, but there is still work to be done.
"We've seen improvement throughout the year in a lot of areas," Dick said. "It's just that we have a long ways to go. When we play a team like this it's tough to show what we've learned and how much better we've gotten."
It took more than 10 minutes for the Eagles to get into double figures. By that time, the Trojans already built a 20-point lead.
Hunter Ahlness (eight points) hit a long 2-pointer and Taylor Bolduan and Ellie Schneider (eight points) each added baskets in the final minute of the half as the Eagles scored a rare 20 first-half points, but trailed 43-20.
Things didn't get any easier for New Ulm in the second half. Worthington went on a 9-2 run in the first three minutes before Nicole Dittrich (seven points) knocked down a 3-pointer. With 11:40 remaining Ahlness nailed another long 2-pointer and on the following possession Dittrich knocked down another shot from downtown.
Kelsey Anderson added a layup and Briana Sieve made two free throws with 5:00 left before Worthington ended the game on an 11-0 run.
"We moved the ball around really well tonight," Dick said. "We didn't shoot the ball particularly well, but we had open looks and when you have open looks, that's all you can ask for."
As far as the future of Dick's team, he said that there are a lot of positives moving forward.
"We're getting better and better," Dick said. "We're only going to lose one senior, so we'll have a group of people back that have been through this. We have some things in place that we can build on for next year, trying to hit the ground running a little bit better."
New Ulm falls to 0-21 as it wraps up the regular season.