Death. Taxes. Hill-Murray making a run at the Class 2A state tournament.
A year after being the tournament’s top seed boasting a roster loaded with talent, the Pioneers (14-13-1) return to St. Paul barely over .500.
But don’t let the record fool you.
Head coach Bill Lechner, a tournament veteran with two state titles to his name, finds a way to mold his teams into pesky playoff participants no matter the record. Hill-Murray outscored opponents 12-2 in the Section 4AA tournament and is as battle-tested as any team, thanks to arguably the state’s best schedule.
Plagued by injuries all season, this edition of the Pioneers conjures memories of the 2020 team — a younger group that peaked at the right time and captured the state title.
Can Lechner and the Pioneers make a magical run again?
The task is formidable. Hill-Murray will meet top-seeded Minnetonka in Thursday’s quarterfinals, a team it lost to 5-0 during the regular season.