Boys golf: Silver finds its place at state meet
BLOOMINGTON -- John Wild had to sleep on the lead.
Josh LaBounty needed a big day for York.
Hinsdale Central had its remarkable seven-year stranglehold on the Class 3A boys golf finals come to a close.
Such is life in the West Suburban Silver on a Saturday afternoon in central Illinois.
Wild, a Glenbard West sophomore who was the overnight leader at 3-under-par 69 at the Den at Fox Creek, surrendered his 3 shots to par to finish at level for the two-day tournament.
LaBounty, meanwhile, erased his 2 dropped shots to par on his opening day with a sterling 70 to also finish at even-par 144 for the tournament.
Lockport junior Ben Sluzas defended his individual championship with a 36-hole total of 4-under 140.
Wild, LaBounty and DeKalb senior Jack Paeglow settled for a three-way tie for third with their level-par efforts.
"I was feeling a little pressure (as the overnight leader)," Wild said. "You just have to have the same mindset going into the second day. Putting compared to (Friday) wasn't the same. Nothing was really falling."
LaBounty toured his outward nine in 3-under 33 as the senior parlayed his exceptional start into the finest finish in program history.
"I knew I had to keep fighting," LaBounty said. "We had to play for each other. My mental game was strong all day. I had to push (my teammates) up when I could."
Glenbard West was in trophy contention with its first-round status after a collective 302. But York captured Silver bragging rights with its second-day 309.
The Dukes (620) moved from fifth to fourth with its second-round 309 as Glenbard West finished at 627 after its second-round 325.
Hinsdale Central, the third Silver member in the field, had its state-tying run of seven consecutive championships end with its seventh-place finish at 641.
Lake Forest supplanted the Red Devils with a superb second-round 293 to finish at 601 for the two days.
"In hindsight they will think about what an accomplishment it is," Hinsdale Central coach Jess Krueger said. "This (seventh place) is how good we are. I'm happy with where we finished."
Jack Bartuch fired a 1-over 73 to lead Hinsdale Central to narrowly miss all-state with his 14th-place finish.
York had a second all-state golfer as Matthew Buckley fired a 3-over 75 to finish in a sixth-place tie.
"Early on I was struggling mentally," Buckley said. "I started turning it around by the fifth hole. I played the rest of the round in even par."
At the Class 2A tournament at the Weibring Course in Normal, Wheaton Academy saw reason for optimism.
Graham Head and Sam Dykema, a freshman and sophomore, respectively, for the Warriors, led the team to a fourth-place tie with Carmel.
Head had 6 birdies, including three in succession on the front nine of the par-71 layout, to flavor a third-place 139.
Rockford Boylan senior T.J. Baker aced the eighth hole en route to the championship at 8-under 134.
Dykema was 14th for the Warriors with his two rounds of 74 and 77.
"It was flowing really well for me," Head said. "I was just feeling it. I was hitting greens and giving myself plenty of birdie chances."