TOP PHOTO: WLAF’s Matthew Moore snapped this photo on Thursday night as fire units from Rural Metro Fire and the Knoxville Fire Department rolled up to Powell High School around 7:20.

POWELL, TN (WLAF) – It was an eventful night on Thursday at Powell High School. First, neighborhood rivals Karns and homestanding Powell were battling it out at Hunter Gym in the first of two semifinal games in the District 3-AAAA Basketball Tournament. Second, with 2:30 to play in that game, a loud clap of thunder quieted the crowd for a blink as a storm brewed outside. Third, the fire alarms sounded inside the school and the building was evacuated. From there, speculation circulated of just how the games, the night was going to play out.

For the better part of the next hour, everyone waited outside Powell High to see what would come as firefighters from the Knoxville Fire Department and Knox Rural Metro scoured the campus. Nothing was found and everyone returned to the gym.

The next challenge was that the flashing strobe fire alarm lights could not be shut off. Karns and Powell resumed their game as the lights flashed all around Hunter Gym. Karns won 54-41.

As that game wound down and Campbell and Oak Ridge began their warm-ups, the emergency lights kept flashing. All the while representatives from Campbell, Powell, Oak Ridge and Karns, along with TSSAA officials on the phone, were sizing up about just how to move forward with the last game or postpone it. The word of “we want to play” came from Campbell Coach Jason Kitts and Oak Ridge Coach Paige Taylor, and they played.

The game started more than an hour after its scheduled start of 7:30pm. About the time the game tipped off, the emergency lights were reset, and they stopped flashing. Oak Ridge won 62-40 over Campbell.

Homestanding Powell will host Campbell on Monday at 6pm in the consolation game. WLAF will have live coverage. Oak Ridge and Karns tip off at 7:30 pm in the Monday night cap to play for the district tournament title. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/17/2023-6AM)