The Suburban Christian Conference goes against established practice in determining its champion boys golf program.
Regular-season dual meets are essentially exhibition matches as the league holds a two-day tournament to crown the league victor.
Saturday afternoon at White Pines Golf Club in Bensenville, Marmion entered the second day of competition with a razor-thin 320-321 lead over Marian Central.
But the Hurricanes had three players break 80 to post a collective total of 323, while Marmion senior Liam Creamer was the lone Cadet to fire in the 70s.
As a result, Marian Central won its second conference championship in the last three years by reversing the 1-stroke Marmion cushion, 644-645.
"It was a frustrating day from beginning to end," Marmion coach Doug Roberts said. "(White Pines) is a tough course. There's not enough birdie opportunities to offset the bogeys and doubles."
Ryan Mullens' first-round 5-over 75 was the trendsetter for the individual medalist, but Creamer saw his chance when the Montini senior had his second-day score balloon.
Coming off a first-day 78, the Cadets' top player toured the front nine in 1-over to stake his claim.
Creamer, though, had a tough stretch to fall out of contention.
"Seven straight 5s starting on the ninth hole," said Creamer, who finished with a second consecutive 78 for a 156 aggregate total. "(I played) solid with some shades of grey. Throw in four or five bad holes, and it turns out two 78s. I should have been much lower."
Joe Fritz and Luke Hoss had consistent performances on both days to further the Cadets' runner-up team performance.
The Cadets' margin for error was hampered when one of its top players was disqualified for missing his tee time.
But Roberts is undeterred as the Cadets -- state runner-up in Class 2A last year -- prepare for the Class 3A Naperville Central regional on Tuesday.
"I don't want a conference championship to be our benchmark," Roberts said. "Twenty years from now I'm not going to remember a conference trophy. I'm going to remember what we did in the state series."
St. Francis and Wheaton Academy shot identical rounds -- 325 and 328, respectively -- both days to finish third and fourth.
But the schools' top players revealed a youth movement in the league.
Grant Gosden was 2 shots off Mullens' first-day pace after posting a 77 on Friday, and the Wheaton Academy freshman emerged as the champion individual golfer with a 75 on Saturday.
"I was coming out here to shoot the best possible score I could," Gosden said. "I really wasn't thinking about winning while I was playing. I guess my short game helped me out the most."
"We knew that Grant was a great talent," Wheaton Academy coach Scott Broman said.
Another freshman, St. Francis' Jonathan Nocek, led the Spartans' third-place team showing with an 81-78 two-day aggregate.
"I started off bad, 3-over through three holes, but then parred six straight holes," Nocek said.
Montini (668) was fifth behind Mullens and Seth Maack.
Aurora Central Catholic and Walther Lutheran were in the sixth and seventh slots as the league has a second nuance with a team cut after the first round.
Sean Harreld was the low man for ACC.
"Not the greatest golf at all," Harreld said of his play. "I should have played a lot better. My putting was terrible."
St. Edward missed the team cut by 2 shots.
"Kind of disappointing," said Green Wave junior No. 1 player Dan Winters, one of two St. Ed players to make the individual cut. "Everything wasn't going right today."
Winters missed all-conference selection by one position.
"(The team) had a tough time (on Friday)," Green Wave coach Greg Winters said. "They didn't shoot their averages. Their expectations were a little higher as were mine. We always try to stress that every little stroke makes a difference (in making the team cut)."