Thomas Stone 66,

Chopticon 64

With just one tip-in, Thomas Stone senior Denzel Satterwhite not only found redemption for his new teammates last night in Waldforf, but also for himself.

Satterwhite, a three-year starter who was kicked off Westlake's squad last season for violating team rules, bounced from Forestville to Thomas Stone. Last night, the Cougars' newcomer tipped in a missed shot by teammate Nathan Flowers as the buzzer sounded to give Thomas Stone (3-0) a 66-64 win over Chopticon (3-2) in a Southern Maryland Athletic Conference matchup.

"There is a lot of pressure on our team because people say we can't play together and that we don't listen or are uncoachable, but me and my teammates work hard and we do play together," Satterwhite said. "Tonight showed that."

The Braves, who returned four starters from a team that went 22-1 last season, tied the game with 5.9 seconds to play when sophomore point guard Brandon Somerville -- the only newcomer to the starting five -- hit 1 of 2 free throws. Cougars senior Daniel Bell, averaging 32.3 points per game, looked at Coach Dale Lamberth before the ball was inbounded and mouthed the words, "I want to win this."

But after taking the inbounds pass from senior Antonio Lewis, Bell (team-high 20 points) was swarmed. He wisely threw an outlet pass to junior Xavier Davis, who fed an open Flowers down low. Flowers's short baseline jumper sailed just over the basket, allowing Satterwhite, who had sneaked behind Chopticon's Terrell Reeves (15 points, 7 blocks), to tip in the game-winner.

"I thought the shot was going to go in, I swear I did," said Satterwhite, who was swarmed by a rushing mob of teammates and fans. "I just happened to jump -- a reflex, I guess -- and got a hand on it when it didn't."

Last season, Thomas Stone came close to knocking off Chopticon, falling by narrow margins of one and three points, so this was the rematch it had been longing for.

"It doesn't matter that it's early; this win means a lot because last year we had them," Bell said. "We were banking on this game. We knew we had to win, and knew that we could."