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Central Valley's and Ceres High's varsity wrestling programs had multiple placers at the 45th Ceres Invitational last week.

Joey Bettencourt, Gabe Balderas, Nick Serratos, Nick Moran, Lucas Silva, Victor Cruz, Wesley Schwieger, Andrew Cefre, Bradley Bruten, Ruben Sanchez and Armando Morales helped lead the Bulldogs to a third-place finish in the team standings (118 points).

Escalon (163.5) won the title, followed by Summerville (136).

"Honestly, it was a big surprise," Ceres High head coach Jon Nowicki said. "I didn't expect us to get a trophy. I'm proud of what the team did. Our kids really came through. We're going to keep getting better."

Bettencourt, a sophomore, won two of three matches on his way to a second-place finish in the 103-pound weight class.

He lost 9-4 in the finals to Summerville's Andrew Brennan.

He beat Hughson's Chase Herrin (12-6) and Kimball's Diego Avaenga (7-6).

Bettencourt had just one victory at the junior-varsity level in 2009-10.

"It's a little bit of a surprise based on last year," Nowicki said while talking about Joey's strong showing. "But he's worked really hard. The mental attitude he has is the big difference. He wants to win."

Balderas had to settle for silver for the second year in a row. The 119-pound sophomore lost by pin 44 seconds into the championship match with Johansen's Josh Diaz.

Gabe collected wins against Escalon's Chase Welborn (pin, 1:55) and Central Valley's Alex Alvarez (pin, 5:16).

"Finishing second is a big accomplishment," Nowicki said. "But he could have done better. A lack of movement hurt him."

Serratos was runner-up in the 189-pound class.

He lost by pin in the second round (4:24) to Summerville's Jesse Stoy.

Nick beat Downey's John Kreifels (decision, 13-10) and Galt's Paul Holston (pin, 1:03).

Serratos took last season off to focus on water polo.

"He had a great first tournament," Nowicki said.

Moran (4-1 record) edged Downey's Sam Chilton by three points, 5-2, for third place at 152 pounds.

The junior also beat Escalon's Scott Nunes (pin, 3:32), Downey's Devin Eastman (pin, 2:24) and Galt's Justin O'Neal (pin, 1:42). He lost 4-0 to eventual-champion Ray Lomas of Central Catholic.

"I'm proud of what he accomplished," Nowicki said.

Silva (2-2) and Sanchez (1-3) placed fourth and sixth, respectively, at 215 pounds.

Cruz (2-2) and Morales (1-3) took fourth and sixth at 285 pounds.

Schwieger (125s, 1-3), Cefre (140s, 2-3) and Bruten (171s, 2-3) all finished in sixth place.

Bruten beat Rocklin's David Blanco (pin, 5:10) and Bear Creek's Mark Macedo (pin, 3:26).

Six of the Hawks' nine grapplers earned medals, including Josh Beckhart, Alex Alvarez, Jaime Lomeli, Jaime Tadeo, Evan Elliott and Abel Medina.

Central Valley (74 points) finished ninth overall at the 17-team tournament.

"I'm pretty happy with the kids," head coach Rob Beckhart said. "It's a good start."

Beckhart claimed the 215-pound title with a perfect 3-0 record.

Josh won by third-round pin (5:46) in the finals against Johansen's Rusty Smith.

He also topped Summerville's Cole Bush (pin, 3:48) and Downey's Jamie Barajas (decision, 7-3). Barajas and Bush took third and fifth, respectively.

"Being seeded No. 1 comes with extra expectations," coach Beckhart said. "He went out there and wrestled his best."

Alvarez placed fourth in the 119-pound division. He compiled a 2-2 record.

Lomeli (3-2) and Tadeo (2-3) finished fifth and sixth, respectively, at 160 pounds.

Elliot (2-2) took fifth at 189 pounds.

Medina (2-3) was sixth at 130 pounds.