Fred Kroner: Challenging times for IHSA

BLOOMINGTON — The IHSA, in some quarters, is viewed as the Evil Empire.

It’s a perception that is prevalent among those with gripes about an organization in its 114th year of existence.

Some criticize the IHSA for its multiplier policy that is applied to non-boundaried schools.

Others don’t like the number of championships that are permitted in a particular sport.

Tuesday's prep highlights: Denault keeps PBL perfect

In baseball

■ Paxton-Buckley-Loda 8, Oakwood 4. Axl Denault had three hits and drove in five runs as the Panthers (5-0) remained unbeaten. Dustin Mercer earned the pitching win, and Hunter Johnson picked up a save with 22/3 innings of scoreless relief. Oakwood’s Kyle Girton was 3 for 3.

Saturday's prep highlights: Central's Altmyer tosses no-hitter

In baseball

■ Central 7-6, Pontiac 0-1. Alec Altmyer struck out 11 in a complete-game no-hitter in Game 1. Joe Aeilts and Jake Snider each had two hits and an RBI. In the second game, Tanner Gordon struck out eight in six innings to record his first win. Connor Mapes had three hits and two RBI.

Faces of the spring

The high school spring sports season is starting to bloom.

Big 12 revamp ahead of schedule

CHAMPAIGN ­— Coming to a field or stadium sooner than expected: the revamped Big 12 Conference.

The expanding high school athletic league will have conference schedules in play in 20 of 21 sports when another school year starts in August.

All-Area Girls' Tennis Coach of Year: Danville's Mark Bacys

Why he’s Coach of the Year: Guided Vikings to fourth consecutive Big 12 conference title and third successive sectional championship, qualifying all six players for state. Won the IHSA team sportsmanship award at state and received an IHSA academic award for having a team grade-point average of over 3.5.

All-Area Girls' Tennis POY: Danville's Rachael Lewis

DANVILLE — Rachael Lewis is all about tennis.

In the early days of her youthful exuberance, it wasn’t the game or even the competition that Lewis found appealing.

“To be honest, I liked tennis for the outfits that I got to wear when I played,” Lewis said. “I loved the little skirts and dresses that my mom would have for me.”

Peoria schools joining Big 12

What happened

Bulletin board: SJ-O faces passing power

GREENVILLE — St. Joseph-Ogden’s secondary will receive a chance to add to some impressive season totals. The Spartans (10-2) have intercepted 17 passes this season, seven by Jake Stewart and five by Jake Pence. They are two of the team’s four defensive backs.