The Saint Stephen's girls golf team and Bradenton Christian Philip Knowles improved their scores in the final round of the Class 1A state tournament Wednesday.
But neither the Falcons nor Knowles moved up the leaderboard at Harbor Hills Country Club and Deer Island Country Club, respectively.
The Saint Stephen's girls posted a 306 total in the final round, lower by three strokes than Tuesday's round, but the Falcons remained in fifth place at Harbor Hills in Lady Lake with a 615 two-day total. Winter Park Circle Christian won the tourney with a 587.
Saint Stephen's snagged fourth place last season.
Meanwhile, Knowles improved by one stroke from Tuesday's 76 at Deer Island in Tavares in the Class 1A boys tourney. But he remained tied for 25th.
Entering the final round, Falcons head coach Craig Tarbeck said his team's strategy would be to fire at all the pins in an effort to make up the 10-shot deficit from second-place Lake Mary Prep.
Sophomore Michelle Yan fired the team's lowest score with a 71 to finish with a 145 total and tie for eighth individually. Freshman and sister Vanessa Yan posted a 72 for a 147 total. Other team member scores on Wednesday included junior Natalie Pleyrova (78), senior Phoebe Zhao (85) and sophomore Nupur Mathur (132).
Between the two days, only 19 of the 160 individual rounds were played at even-par or better. The Yan sisters tallied two of those.
"I think that we would have liked to have done better," said Tarbeck, Saint Stephen's first-year head coach. "But we're certainly not losers. ... I like Jack Nicklaus' way of looking at things. He won 18 majors and finished second 19 times. And when he finished second, he told the other fellow, 'Look, I gave it my best shot and you were better than me today.' But I don't think Nicklaus walked away and though he was a loser or not as successful person. ... That's kind of the takeaway."
The 75 Knowles carded Wednesday put him 15 shots behind Melbourne Holy Trinity senior Kerry Sweeney's winning total of 8-under-par 136.
Knowles finished in seventh place, one spot away from earning a state ribbon, as a sophomore in the 2012 state tournament.
"Philip was great off the tee again (Wednesday); he only missed two fairways," BCS head coach Joel Van Ryn said. "He just didn't make any putts."
However, it's not the last hurrah for Knowles, who can return to the state championship next fall as a senior.
"You can tell he's not happy, but you've got to move on," Van Ryn said. "There will be more tournaments. He's not unhappy with how he hit the ball. It was just one of those days where he did not score."