Alecia Cooley on the fast-track back

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Alecia Cooley’s ankle may have prevented Evanston from winning the title at Dundee-Crown, but the senior’s injury shouldn’t hurt the Wildkits’ chances at the CSL South championship.

Evanston coach Elliot Whitefield said Wednesday that the 6-foot-2 center will be close to full strength for the team’s return to league play Jan. 11 at home against Glenbrook South.

“It was never like she was going to be out for an extended period of time,” Whitefield said of the sprained ankle Cooley suffered during the team’s 63-41 win over St. Charles North in the opener at Dundee-Crown’s holiday invitational. “She’s jogging on it now, and we are hoping she will be OK for our game Saturday against St. Charles East.”

Without Cooley, the Wildkits went 1-2 at Dundee-Crown to finish 2-2 and in fourth place at the tournament.

Evanston, which is ranked 15th by the Sun-Times, entered the new year 15-2 overall and 5-0 in the conference. The Wildkits beat the No. 20 Titans 41-37 on Nov. 30 in the first meeting between the two clubs.

“I am extremely pleased with the first half of our season,” Whitefield said. “We beat some good teams. Right now, winning conference is our first goal. We can do that as long as we stay healthy.”

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