CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Princeton experienced exhilaration Tuesday while George Washington was left wondering where it all went wrong at the Class AAA Region 3 high school golf tournament.
Junior Tyler Hillyer shot the low round to earn medalist honors with a 4-over-par 74 in leading the Tigers to the regional championship by five strokes on the par-70 Berry Hills Country Club Course.
Princeton totaled a combined score of 239 while Shady Spring finished runner-up at 244. Both teams earned a trip to the state tournament, which will take place Oct. 8-9 on the Speidel Golf Course at Oglebay Park in Wheeling.
GW failed to qualify for states, finishing fourth with a 248, four strokes out of the final qualifying spot. Greenbrier East (245) was third, failing by one stroke to move on. The top two teams and the top two individuals not on a qualifying squad advance to states.
There was a silver lining, though, for GW as Kyle Bird tied for second with a 6-over 76 and advanced to the state tournament as an individual qualifier. Oak Hill senior Craig Buchanan also carded a 76 and punched a ticket to Wheeling.
"He's worked hard at it,'' GW coach B.J. Calabrese said of Bird. "You can tell the last two weeks his focus has been real good. He's spending time out on the range, which is what it takes. He's getting in some holes, but he's working on his game.''
After Bird, GW's Drew Call (85), Harry Basile (87) and Matt Nelson (90) posted scores that were just too high to overcome.
"It's been really this kind of a season,'' said Calabrese, who guided the Patriots to a tie for third in the 2011 state tournament. "We've been up and down, up and down.
"Really, during the course of the season we've been up and down as individuals and not as a team. Extremely disappointing on your home course. I thought as time went on we were a little more focused and playing a little better.''
Princeton just missed qualifying for states during Hillyer's freshman season, finishing third, which made Tuesday's title even sweeter.