BETHLEHEM Brody Keefe was full of smiles Friday night, but by Saturday afternoon, Keefe had trouble putting one on his face following an exit from the Northeast Regional 3A wrestling tournament at Liberty's Memorial Gymnasium.
Keefe (160) lost to Kazim Bakhriyev of Scranton by a 4-2 decision in overtime during Saturday's consolation semifinal round to end his bid for a trip to Hershey.
The loss came a bout before Keefe would have battled for the third and final spot to this week's PIAA Championships, as Pleasant Valley departed from Bethlehem without any representatives heading to the Giant Center this week.
Keefe's fate became a cruel reality Saturday, as Bakhriyev scored a takedown in overtime with 9.5 seconds left in the one-minute period for the sudden victory.
After Friday night's festivities saw Keefe win his first two regional matches of his career, where he knocked off the top-seed en route to solidifying a spot in the semifinals, the sophomore saw his campaign come to an end with two losses on Saturday to leave the Bears with a sense of disappointment.
"It was a tough loss and it's hard to go out with an overtime loss," said Bears' first-year head coach Justin Micklos. "It's difficult as a wrestler, when you have certain goals for yourself and you don't reach them. It gives him motivation and there's no reason he can't work himself back to this level and have an opportunity to get to Hershey next year."
PV's tough start to the day was combined with Keefe getting pinned by Cody Cordes of Wyoming Valley West in 2:57 during the semifinals. The Bears then saw heavyweight Ahmad Curtis end his season in the consolation quarterfinals, as he became a victim to the mat as well, getting pinned in 3:50 by Kameron Van Wert of West Scranton. Curtis picked up a 13-5 victory over Kenny Roman of Wallenpaupack earlier in the day's consolation round, to pick up his first career regional victory, but he couldn't continue his momentum through Van Wert.
Offensive momentum was hard to come by for Keefe in day two as well, especially against Bakhriyev, who took a 2-1 lead with 30 seconds left in the third period off the bouts first takedown. Keefe would gain an escape to draw the match even heading into overtime, but couldn't muster any real scoring opportunities throughout the match.
"[Bakhriyev] was a thrower and was all upper body," Micklos said. "We knew it was going to be a tough match for Bordy on his feet, but we felt if he could get on top or get him to the ground he could take him. Unfortunately, [Bakhriyev] chose neutral in the third and we just couldn't capitalize."
Despite the Bears season ending a week prematurely then they're accustomed to, Micklos took the experience as a valuable tool for the program moving forward.
"I think with Brody and Ahmad getting here, it gave them a ton of confidence that should transfer over to the room and their work ethic," he said. "Should be a great learning tool for next year."
106 Dan Moran (Nor) def. Tyson Klump (Naz) 6-4.
113 Jacob Lizak (Par) dec. Travis Smith (Naz) 3-0.
120 Ethan Lizak (Par) dec. Tyrone Klump (Naz) 8-3.
126 Zach Valley (Nor) tech fall Evan Fidelibus (Ea) 18-2, 6:00.
132 Chase Zemenak (Naz) maj dec. Todd Hetrick (Nor) 9-0.
138 Colby Ems (ESS) maj dec. James Saylor (Ea) 14-5.
145 Joe Galasso (FJ) maj dec. Charles Sell (Ba) 19-8.
152 Elijah Brown (Ea) dec. Josh Ortman (Par) 3-1.
160 Bobby Fehr (Nor) dec. Cody Cordes (WVW) 3-2.
170 Jake Jakobsen (Str) dec. Idris White (FJ) 5-3.
182 Nicolino Sevi (Naz) pin Dennis Rivas (Die) 3:45.
195 Nezar Haddad (Par) dec. Orlando Miller (Lib) 6-2.
220 Jake Gunning (Lib) dec. Antonio Pelusi (Las) 6-2.
285 Ryan Monk (Dal) dec. Brandon Lance (Naz) 3-2.
106 Luke Werner (Lib) dec. Dylan Brown (Fr) 7-3.
113 Michael Scheetz (Nor) dec. Chad Haegele (ArchW) 8-1.
120 Jimmy Hoffman (Haz) dec. Greg Pascale (AbH) 1-0.
126 John Ritter (Lib) dec. in OT Bob Hawkins (Cou) 12-10.
132 Jalen Palmer (DV) dec. Travis Roper (WVW) 7-3.
138 Greg Konieczny (Las) dec in OT Frankie Carrozza (DV) 4-2.
145 Nathan Cheek (WVW) dec. Bobby Endy (SJP) 3-2.
152 Tyler Tarsi (Naz) dec. Matt Mirth (SoL) 3-1.
160 Matthew Carr (AbH) dec. Kazim Bakhriyev (Scr) 5-0.
170 Connor Martinez (Dal) dec. Noah Klingborg (Lib) 3-1.
182 Jared Wehrmann (Wal) dec. James Palmisano (St) 5-2.
195 Jovon Reyes (Die) dec. in OT Matt Wagner (DV) 3-1.
220 Omar Haddad (Park) dec in OT Thomas Alcaro (Em) 3-2, UTB.
285 Joe Hansbury (ArchR) dec. Cody Cooper (St) 11-9.
1. Nazareth 159.5, 2. Parkland 100, 3. Northampton 98, 4. Liberty 90, 5. Easton 70, 6. Wyoming Valley West 63, 7. Father Judge 56.5, 8. Stroudsburg 56, 9. Dallas 51, 10. Lasalle 50, 11. Dieruff 45.5, 12. Delaware Valley 37.5, T13. Abington Heights 27, T13. ES South 27, 15. Scranton 26.5, 16. Wallenpaupack 26, 17. James Coughlin 25.5, 18. So. Lehigh 22.5, 19. Emmaus 19, T20. Hazleton Area 18, T20. St. Joe Prep 18, 22. Freedom 17.5, 23. West Scranton 17, 24. Bangor 16, 25. Northeast 15, T26. Blue Mtn. 13, T26. Mariano Bracetti 13, 28. Arch Ryan 12, 29. Arch Wood 11, 30. Pleasant Vly. 10, T31. Geo Washington 9, T31. PM West 9, T33. PM East 8, T33 Tunkhannock 8, 35. Central 7, T36. Crestwood 5, T36. Pittston Area 5, T38. Monsignor Bonner 4, T38. Olney Charter 4, T38. Valley View 4, T41. Cardinal Ohara 2, T41. Pottsville 2, 43. Franklin Towne 1.