NORMAL -- Matt Weber assumed he was left with no choice but to be aggressive on his final green of the boys Class 2A state golf tournament Saturday at the DA Weibring Golf Club.
The Burlington Central senior trailed playing companion Danny Gorman, a Rockford Boylan senior, by a shot for the individual state championship.
Reaching the par-4 finishing hole in regulation, Weber, level par for his first 35 holes of the tournament, sent his approach putt six feet past.
"I didn't make the comebacker," Weber said.
Gorman also missed his par putt, but his second consecutive even-par round of 71 gave him a one-shot victory over Weber.
"I had to give it a go," Weber said of his first putt from roughly 25 feet. "(Gorman) didn't have a bogey until the 17th hole. He played really solid."
Central also had its dream of a team state championship unravel under blustery conditions in central Illinois.
Trailing Pontiac by a pair of shots entering the day, Central was 9 shots off its opening-round total to finish in fourth place.
Rockford Boylan nipped Dunlap by a shot for the title.
"It's kind of bittersweet," Central coach Deb Twenhafel said. "The boys are upset and disappointed. To finish fourth in the state is awesome in my book."
Twenhafel more than realized Weber would have to anchor the Rockets with another scintillating performance for Central to realize its state dreams.
The Indiana-bound senior had an usual method to his second straight under-par outward nine.
Weber had but a pair of pars on his way to a 1-under start, crafting 4 birdies to offset 3 bogeys in the process.
"I had a lot of really good shots (on the front nine) but made some sad mistakes," Weber said. "I short-sided myself (to lead to a bogey) on No. 4 but came right back to make a birdie at (No.) 5."
Weber finished with 8 combined birdies on the front nine for the weekend.
Austin Niesel began his day auspiciously with a birdie at the first hole, but the Rockets' junior could not sustain his play over the remainder of the round.
Five shots higher than his first-round score, Niesel had to settle for an 81.
The Rockets' 325 total was completed when Andrew Sherman came home with an 82, and Jacob Ledebuhr fashioned an 86.
Joe Sherman and Jeremy Crosby were the other members of the Rockets' downstate starting six.
"We were looking really good (after the first round)," Weber said. "(The second-round team score) was definitely a little bit of nerves. It's still the highest finish we've ever had as a team."
Weber was also a member of the only other downstate crew from Central as a freshman three years ago. That team finished ninth.
Other area individuals at the Class 3A tournament at The Den at Fox Creek had success. Jacobs senior Chris Boyle shot a 76 Saturday to finish at 149 and tied for 11th place, while his Golden Eagle teammate and classmate Jack Ramsett fired a 75 to finish at 151 and tied for 15th place.
Huntley junior Trent Craig (78-155, tied for 27th) and Cary-Grove senior Daniel DePrey (83-157) also competed.
In the Class 1A tournament at Prairie Vista, Westminster Christian senior Connor Rejman had a 75 Saturday to close at 153 and grab 10th place. Elgin Academy sophomore Frankie Bisconti went 86-178 to tie for 81st place.
Kaneland senior Matt Yonkovich had a pair of front-nine birdies and 8 pars on his inward nine to finish in a fifth-place tie.
It was the highest individual finish by a Kaneland male golfer since Milo French was the Class AA state runner-up 11 years ago.
Yonkovich fired a 1-over 72 to finish plus-8 in the tournament.
"(Friday) as kind of an unusual round for Matt," Kaneland coach Mark Meyer said. "He shot a 78 by putting well. Today he added the ball-striking. He shot the kind of score we're used to seeing him shoot, right around par."
Raghav Cherala had his unprecedented career at St. Charles North come to an end with matching 42s at the Den at Fox Creek in Class 3A play in Bloomington.
With his 79-84 36-hole total, Cherala finished tied for 64th.
Hinsdale Central won its second straight state championship by 13 shots.
At the girls Class AA state tournament north of Decatur, Crystal Lake Central tasted defeat as a team for the first time all season.
The three-team Coop was fifth; Prospect won its second state championship in three years.
Crystal Lake Central senior Lexi Harkins closed out her career with her second all-state performance.
The North Carolina recruit had 3 birdies on his closing nine to fire an even-par 36 en route to a 78 and two-day total of 153.
"I think we just all wanted to play well and see what we could do (as a team)," Harkins said. "I don't think I played my best. I just have to accept the score."
In the Class A girls tournament, St. Edward junior Ryann Scully shot a 96 Saturday for a two-day 190 and a tie for 70th place.