RICHMOND, Indiana – Columbus North’s quest for a return to a third consecutive girls basketball state finals came up short.

The Bull Dogs battled back from a 12-point first-half deficit to take a one-point lead at the end of the third quarter, 36-35. But Pike regained control and held on for a 52-49 victory on Saturday, giving the Red Devils a berth in next Saturday’s Class 4A title game.

A desperation, 75-foot, back-court heave by senior Ashlyn Huffman with less than a second remaining — which could have tied the game — fell far short.

That set off a celebration by the Red Devils as a tearful North squad walked off the court two wins short of a second state title in three years.

Look for full coverage in Sunday’s print edition of The Republic.

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.