Tigers’ Fil­li­aux falls in state semi­fi­nals for sec­ond straight year

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By JOR­DAN SCHATZ jschatz@ce­cil­whig.com

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.”

Fol­low Jor­dan Schatz on Twit­ter: @Jor­dan_Whig

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JOR­DAN SCHATZ

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.

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