"It's fun,'' Hillyer said. "We're all best friends and we play golf all the time. Our coach Jimmy Jones is great. He keeps us in line. We're a veteran team. We knew to come up here and do it.''
Princeton senior William Hickman (82) tied for seventh while senior Jared Porter (83) tied for ninth. Tigers senior Andrew Wilson turned in a 95.
"It's tough even though it was great conditions,'' Hillyer said of the rolling Berry Hills course, which played at 5,935 yards. "Every shot's a battle. You have to think about everything.
"You can't just walk up and try to smack it down the fairway. There's trouble everywhere. I put the driver away a couple of times and kept it in the bag. Just played smart. It's a tough course and we all played well.''
The Class AAA tournament is up for grabs this year with defending state champion University failing to advance out of Region 1 and Thadd Obecny, the individual titlist in 2010-11, isn't playing for Wheeling Park after helping the Patriots to back-to-back championships in 2010-11 and a runner-up showing last year.
"We're ready to go up there and make our claim,'' said Hillyer. "It'd be nice to bring home a state championship. Nobody has really heard of Princeton golf the past few years.''
Seniors Drew Green (80), Landon Perry (81), Ryan Albaugh (83) and Dakota McComas (86) paced Shady Spring's second-place finish. South Charleston (275) took seventh, Capital (321) was ninth and Riverside (328) was 10th.
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.