AVON -- The North Putnam wrestlers have been steadily improving throughout the season, and that showed at the Avon sectional on Saturday.
The Cougars had two wrestlers advance to regionals as senior Dean Kleiber finished second at 120 pounds while senior heavyweight Eric Davis finished fourth.
"We're real proud of our kids this year," North Putnam coach Bucky Kramer said. "As a team, we've improved our placing in the sectional over last year. We also advanced two kids to the regional.
"We increased our placement numbers and got a lot of kids experience. We're excited about that. It's a building process and it's all about improvement."
Kleiber defeated Yoseph Shibli of Ben Davis and Kyle Smith of Danville to reach the final against Avon's Nick Etienne.
Etienne proved to be a bridge too far for Kleiber as the NPHS grappler was controlled for the bulk of the match in a 9-1 loss.
Davis defeated Avon's John Boffo in the opening round before springing the day's first major upset when he pinned West Central Conference champion Lukas Stoutenour of Cascade in the quarterfinals.
In the semifinals, Davis lost to Tri-West's Jon Stanton 2-1 before defeating South Putnam's Lane Hacker 4-1 to ensure regional progression. Davis lost to Mike Williams of Danville 5-1 in the third place match.
Kramer said that work for next week is about being able to identify situations before Kleiber and Davis' opponents do.
"The big thing is continuing to work on shape and recognition," Kramer said. "At this level, everybody knows pretty much the same things.
"At this point, it's who is going to recognize things faster, who is going to move through their series and be able to perform."