By day's end, however, things were pleasantly the same for the two.
Smidinger cruised to her second straight individual girls championship with a two-day total of 145, while Silberberg came from behind to capture his first boys title with two rounds of 71 for a 142.
Urbana from Frederick County took the Class 4A-3A team title with its top four golfers finishing with a combined two-day total of 615. Broadneck, which started the final day tied for first place, ended up third (636) with Tyler Robinson (151) leading the Bruins. In Class 2A-1A, Marriotts Ridge enjoyed a 17-stroke advantage going into Wednesday's final round, but finished with a 651 to settle for second place behind McDonough from Charles County (648).
After Tuesday's opening round 70 provided a six-stroke lead over Atholton sophomore Bryana Nguyen, Smidinger made birdie on the first hole and was never threatened. Nguyen finished second (154) with Westminster's Jordan McKelvin taking third with a 156.
"I almost hit it in from the fairway for eagle on the first hole, so I started pretty strong," said Smidinger, who is set to golf at the University of Denver next year. "It just boosts your confidence, kind of like 'Take that!' to the other players, so it was pretty good."
After falling to Nguyen in the District V championship on Oct. 14, Smidinger was well aware of what she was up against in her quest to repeat at states. Her opening-round 70 on Tuesday gave her a comfortable margin going into Wednesday, when a steady rain developed at the end of the round.
"Yesterday I made a few mistakes like today, but I covered them up a little better and made some birdies," she said. " Today, I was just hitting a lot of greens and played pretty decent. It was just two decent rounds of golf."
While Smidinger had a comfortable lead and started strong, Silberberg began Wednesday two strokes off the lead and opened with a double-bogey to immediately drop four back.
His response was a birdie on the second hole — an 18-foot putt — and four more birdies followed.
"There's no worse way to start your round than that, but you just have to find a way to forget about it and start fresh on the new hole," said Silberberg, who finished three strokes in front of North Point's Marcus Byrd. "I hit a good tee shot, hit a good second shot and then made the putt. After that, you're right back in it and just have to keep going. Bouncing back with a birdie on two kind of set the tone for the rest of the round."
Silberberg used the experience of finishing 11th at states last year to his benefit in making up ground. He said his biggest improvement over the past year has been on the green, and Wednesday's comeback provided proof.
"That's what kept me in it. I was able to make some birdie putts here and there and a couple major par putts," he said. "I'm just really excited right now. It means a lot as far as planning my college golf — it's definitely a good thing to have on your resume."
Golf state championship
(at University of Maryland College Park)
4A-3A: 1. Urbana, 615; 2. Walt Whitman, 621; 3. Broadneck, 636; 4. North Point, 652; 4. Westminster, 652; 6. Bel Air, 661; 7. Northern, 682.
2A-1A: 1. McDonough, 648; 2. Marriotts Ridge, 651; 3. North Carroll, 661.
Boys: 1. Silberberg (WL), 142; 2. Byrd (NP), 145; 3. Cole (LING), 146; 3. Eng (WW), 146; 5. DiSciullo (URB), 147; 6. Barth (WW), 149; 6. Jameson (LNDT), 149; 6. Reid (WEST), 149; 9. Flach (CENT), 150; 9. Jaworski (URB), 150.
Girls: 1. Smidinger (ARUN), 145; 2. Nguyen (ATH), 154; 3. McKelvin (WEST), 156; 4. Lee (MR), 161; 5. Lawson (MAG), 168; 6. Rafer (SD), 171; 6. Wong (WOOT), 171; 7. Lewis (OAKM), 173; 7. Carr (NP), 173; 7. Bright (WOOT), 173.