Julia Johnson, U-High girls take state titles

SHREVEPORT — Anna Heine and Julia Johnson claim they’ve been playing golf together for “a long time.” Maybe when you’re in eighth grade, several years just seems like an eternity.

Heine and Johnson stole the show at Shreveport Country Club during the Division II State Golf Championships. Thursday. The pair held their own against the elements, with Johnson emerging with the state individual title and Heine as the runner-up.

Heine, who shot an 8-over 79 in the final round, and teammates Maggie Westbrook (99) and Holland Garner (106) secured a historic victory for University Lab.

“It’s cool. We’ve never done it before,” said Heine, who completed her third season for the Cubs.

University Lab (67-over 351) held off a rally from defending champion McGehee to win by six strokes.

Dunham (361) finished third.

Episcopal’s Johnson fired her second-straight 73 to earn the individual championship.

“I’m exhausted,” said Johnson, who beat Heine (154) by eight strokes. “I could have finished better, but my nerves were there a lot today. I wasn’t comfortable going in with the lead.”

She could have fooled her competition. Johnson countered any butterflies with a 30-foot par save on her first hole.

“I was confident after that,” said Johnson, who began playing golf around age 3.

“My father was a basketball coach, but he didn’t like the environment basketball created,” Johnson said. “So he put a club in my hands.”

Johnson has room for four more titles, but she’ll certainly get pressed from Heine.

“I have to keep it up; from here on out stay strong and play my game until I graduate,” Johnson said.

“I hope that’s enough to get into a D-I college. That’s all I’m looking for.”

Runnels’ Taylor Kennedy (80-78) finished third in the Division II individual race.

In Division I, St. Thomas More pulled away from St. Joseph’s Academy to win its fifth consecutive state championship.

Led by senior Lauren Aillet, the Cougars finished with a 16-stroke victory.

“It feels really, really good, especially because we’re all seniors,” Aillet said. “There was pressure because it was our last time, but we all kind of knew we had to play our own game.”

Thursday put a perfect final touch on Aillet’s prep career. She set a single goal before her St. Thomas More swan song: win a state title.

Following Wednesday’s 79, Aillet, who plans to continue her golf career at the University of New Orleans, posted an 81. Her 160 total bested St. Joseph Academy’s Tayler Thompson (84-80) by four strokes.

Aillet’s teammate, Danielle Perez (84-81), finished third in the individual race.