A false fire alarm that interrupted play midway through the second period signaled things were about to heat up last night during the West Potomac-Edison boys basketball game.

There were two near-fights and three technical fouls before the host Wolverines came out breathing fire in the second half en route to a 98-50 victory.

The victory ensured West Potomac (18-1, 7-1) at least a tie for the Gunston District title. Edison fell to 11-8, 5-3.

The alarm sounded in the middle of a 12-2 run by the Wolverines that gave them a 33-18 lead with 2:53 left.

West Potomac was whistled for three technical fouls in the next 31 seconds. Forward Stacey Harris picked up two and Coach Bill Engels one.

Edison made all six free throws and rode the momentum into halftime, trailing 43-32.

But the Wolverines seemed to gain inspiration from the situation. They outscored the Eagles 30-3 in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.

"In the locker room we talked about what we had to do to get out in front of them," said guard Avis Willis, whose 24 points led all scorers. "We decided it was hard defense and {to} not pay attention to those bad calls, you know, the techs."

West Potomac ran off 20 consecutive points before Brian Watkins accounted for the Eagles' only points of the period with a three-pointer with 2:26 left.

The Wolverines' pressure defense forced turnovers on nearly every possession as the Eagles grew frustrated and desperate.

When the smoke had cleared, West Potomac had a 73-35 advantage heading into the final period.

"When we play defense with the intensity we're capable of, we're pretty tough," Engels said. "We've got a lot of kids with good hands and quickness, and it gives people problems."

Edison Coach Mike Wells became so frustrated that he called two timeouts in the first 29 seconds of the fourth period just to stress fundamentals to his team.

Even the reserves kept up the pressure for the Wolverines, playing their final regular season home game.

At one point, Matt Browne stole the ball at midcourt and passed behind his back to Richie Pierce, who then did likewise to Sean Freeman for a layup.

"I think many people on our bench could start for other teams in our district and in the region," Browne said.