Tigers’ Filliaux falls in state semifinals for second straight year
UPPER MARLBORO — For a second straight year, Silas Filliaux’s run to a state championship fell one round short of the finals.
In a battle of top seeds, the Rising Sun junior had little answer for La Plata junior Alex Blake, who powered his way to a 10-4 victory in the 138-pound semifinals at the 2A-1A state wrestling tournament at The Show Place Arena on Saturday. It marked consecutive seasons that he suffered a defeat in the final four.
“He just kept on roasting me with the same look, the outside single, and I just didn’t have an answer for it. I knew it was coming,” said Filliaux, who repeatedly fell victim to Blake’s single-leg takedown. “I just knew he was a tough wrestler, and all he had was an outside single, but’s that all he really needs.”
All four of Fillioux’s points came via escape. He trailed 4-1 after the first period and 8-4 after four minutes. In total, the Rising Sun junior suffered five takedowns.
“I don’t know what to take away from it. He just kept roasting me with the same move,” said Fillioux, who earned the top finish of any Cecil County wrestler. “I know, score wise, it didn’t seem close, but it was just the same move over and over again. If it wasn’t for that we would be dead even.
“I did what the coaches said. I tried to move more in this match just because I knew he had that move, but he just kept on getting in, swinging way out and barely grabbing my ankle. But when he did, he climbed up.”
Rising Sun head coach Cory Hall gave his perspective of the match from his spot in the corner.
“That kid’s been under the radar all year,” Hall said of Blake. “When we first saw him, we knew he was going to give us fits just because he’s got a really solid outside single. He shoots it low and he finishes. He’s got really good finishes. It was a really solid kid.
“There may have been things Silas may have been able to do, but you can’t take away anything from the kid. The kid’s good. We’ll see how he does in the finals. Now, Silas’ job is to come back and get third here.”
Filliaux (42-5), who later defeated Perryville’s Hunter Zacerous in the consolation semifinals, is set to face Poolesville’s Colin Savage in the third-place match when the tournament resumes Monday afternoon. He already will secure a better finish than last year, when he fell, 5-0, to Oakdale junior Kyle Farace in the 132-pound state semifinals before eventually settling for a fifth-place result.
Beyond this year, the Rising Sun junior will have one final shot next winter to break through to the finals and challenge for a state crown.
“I think more than anything, he’s going to have to tap into that aggression that he’s got. Sometimes out here, you can be a little bit more complacent in the way you wrestle. Wrestling is a physical sport and it’s meant to be done aggressively and very physically,” Hall said. “Silas has the ability to be a very physical wrestler, kind of heavy in the head, moving guys, pounding guys.
“We’ve seen it a few times from him this year, and I know when that wrestler shows up to the mat, he will stand on the top of the podium. But until he makes that switch continuously, this is where we’ll be.”
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Rising Sun junior Silas Filliaux, left, can’t escape the hold of La Plata junior Alex Blake during the opening period of the 138-pound semifinals of the 2A-1A state wrestling tournament at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro on Saturday. Filliaux eventually suffered a 10-4 defeat.