Woodbridge Post 364 used a late rally -- make that a late, late rally -- to win its District 16 American Legion playoff game Sunday night at Courtland High.
Woodbridge (20-3) beat Fredericksburg Post 55, 9-3, in a game that started at about 10:40 p.m. and ended close to 2 a.m.
Rain twice postponed the preceding game between Sterling Post 150 and the Smoketown Sluggers. That game was scheduled to start at 5 p.m. but got underway at about 7:40. The Woodbridge-Fredericksburg game was supposed to begin at 8.
District 16 Commissioner Dan Goolsby said that according to American Legion rules, a regular season game can't start after 8 p.m., but a playoff game can start as late as 11 p.m.
The teams "wanted to go ahead and get it done," Goolsby said.
Woodbridge Coach Greg Margheim, whose players arrived at the field at 6:15 that evening, said the lengthy delay did nothing to hinder his team's performance.
"Once the game got going, the adrenaline really kicked in," Margheim said. "There were 10 or 11 kids so pumped up they couldn't sit down for the game.
"None of our parents left, and I know [Fredericksburg] had a lot on their side, too."
Woodbridge's next game in the double-elimination tournament is 8 p.m. Thursday against Winchester Post 21.
Allen Pain Free
Potomac School graduate Yorke Allen reached the finals at last week's USTA boys 18-and-under clay-court championships in Louisville, becoming the only unseeded player in the tournament's 33-year history to accomplish that feat.
Allen, who has had surgery on both wrists in the past 15 months, was defeated by Robert Kowalczyk of Florida, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1, in Sunday's final. The three-time All-Met and two-time Post Player of the Year had reached a USTA No. 5 ranking as a 16-year-old, but after the surgery he couldn't pick up a racket for seven months.
"I wasn't really playing to get into college, or playing for a coach, I was basically playing for myself," said Allen, who is headed to Duke this fall on a tennis scholarship. "I just wanted to go out and prove to everybody that I'm back and I'm not injured anymore, and I'm back to where I was before I was injured."
On the girls side, Flint Hill rising junior Katie Blaszak reached the quarterfinals, where she lost to Tanner Cochran of Dublin, Ga., 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.
Allen, a left-hander, was born with the bones on each arm too close to the wrist, but did not have surgery to fix the problem until last year. He had surgery on his left wrist in June 1998 and sat out eight months, then had surgery on his right wrist in February.
Until three weeks ago, he had played this year with a one-handed backhand.
"It was so much fun to play without pain," said Allen, who will next compete at the U.S. junior hard-court championships in Kalamazoo, Mich., which begin Aug. 6. "When I was out so long it was frustrating, and when I came back it wasn't fun to play. Last week, I just had a lot of fun."
Special correspondent Seth Emerson contributed to this report.