Ira Owens (copy)

Cane Bay High School girls basketball coach Ira Owens and the Cobras are 6-5 but could easily be 10-1 this season.

Cane Bay High School’s girls basketball team takes a 6-5 mark into the final week of the non-region slate. The Lady Cobras’ record would really sparkle if a few more free throws and layups would have stayed down in the first month of the season.

Four of the setbacks came by 2, 1, 4 and 5 points. In the last two, Cane Bay squandered double-digit leads to Mauldin and Spartanburg high schools in the Carolina Invitational after Christmas break.

“The losses we’ve had have come down to the inability to make free throws and unforced turnovers,” Cane Bay coach Ira Owens said. “Both of those things we can control.”

Cane Bay takes on Oceanside Collegiate on Jan. 7 (after press time) and hosts Summerville on Jan. 8 before traveling to Stall on Jan. 10.

It opens the Region 7-AAAAA slate Jan. 14 at home against defending state champion Goose Creek.

“I feel like if we play like we’re capable, we can compete with anybody,” Owens said. “Just competing with teams and winning close games are different things, though. We need to win some close ones so they have confidence when they get in a close game.

They need to have that feeling of we can do this.”

Owens has had to retool the lineup with the loss of junior point guard Amya Henderson, who is out for the season with a knee injury.

Freshman Alaina Nettles and senior Milaun Turner have run the point in recent games.

“They’ve done a good job adjusting,” Owens said. “It’s just a matter of having that somebody who will step up and take control when the game is close.”

More starters are senior small forward Aliana Gilmore, freshman power forward Ryian Howard and sophomore center Tatum Carr.

Senior forward Khaliyah McClennon, a starter when the season began, will provide a boost when she returns from a broken finger.

The Lady Cobras have had multiple different leading scorers in games.

“We need to get more people involved and get some younger girls more playing time (before region play begins),” Owens said.

After Goose Creek, the Lady Cobras host James Island on Jan. 17, travel to Stratford on Jan. 21, travel to Wando on Jan. 24 and host Berkeley on Jan. 28 to finish the first rotation through the region schedule.

Cane Bay was picked to finish last in the six-team region before the season began.