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updated: 10/19/2013 8:48 PM

Hinsdale Central wins state championship

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By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent

BLOOMINGTON -- Hinsdale Central did not have to endure a half-century plus between boys golf state championships.

Fifty-two weeks was the wait this time as the Red Devils shot the best team score for the second straight day to capture its fifth title in program history Saturday at The Den at Fox Creek.

Kenneth Li narrowly missed birdie on the final hole to force a playoff to Glenbrook North senior Brian Ohr, but his 2-under 70 was the foundation of the Red Devils' 308 team total.

Hinsdale Central defended its state championship by 13 shots over New Trier.

Benet was 3 strokes out of runner-up status but had to settle for fifth. Wheaton Warrenville South, in its first appearance since 1997, was 11th.

"It's a different kind of pressure," Hinsdale Central coach Jess Krueger said of repeating. "One roll of the ball, and (Li) birdies (No. 18) for a playoff."

Waubonsie Valley senior Jason Marrs concluded his final season with the best individual performance for the program since Thomas O'Bryan won the championship in sudden death three years ago.

Marrs followed a first-round 70 with a 76 to finish tied for fifth.

"I wasn't really nervous today," Marrs said. "Overall, play was kind of a grind (due to the conditions). I had a number in mind (72, to contend for the championship). It was a real challenge out there."

Benet, in third place after Friday, had three players in the 70s: George Carroll, Alex Bassetto and Matt Rogers.

"Nail-biter right to the end," Benet coach Dan Nagis said of 3 shots separating New Trier, Glenbrook North, Quincy and the Redwings. "An exciting day. Disappointing, but exciting because this is the best finish than any Benet team has ever had."

WW South was paced both days by the foursome of Bailey Dahlquist, Brian McCaffrey, Will Kelly and Will Denman.

At the Class 2A state tournament on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal, Rockford Boylan crowned both the individual and team champion.

Glenbard South finished sixth behind the play of Christopher Dufort, Russell Matos and Michael Wittenberg.

St. Francis was eighth as Jonathan Nocek led the way; Montini, last in the 12-team field, was paced by Alex Keefe.

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