McNamara learned last night that stopping DeMatha's Jerrod Mustaf for two quarters is not enough.

The senior center scored all but two of his 26 points in the second and fourth quarters as fourth-ranked DeMatha defeated the fifth-ranked Mustangs, 59-50, in a Metro Conference game at McNamara.

DeMatha (19-3, 3-0 in league's second half) ran off 15 unanswered points, 12 by Mustaf, to begin the fourth quarter to open up a 56-38 lead. By the time McNamara (18-3, 2-1) scored its first points of the quarter with 3:05 to play, it was far too late for a comeback.

For Mustaf, the strong fourth quarter came after a scoreless third period.

But even with Mustaf being shutout, the game was close after three quarters only because of the Mustangs' Martin Somerville (23 points), who scored all 11 third-quarter McNamara points. His outside shooting kept DeMatha from opening up a lead larger than its 33-27 halftime advantage.

"We knew at some point {Somerville} would have to cool down," DeMatha Coach Morgan Wootten said. "If he had made one more, we would have begun to trap the ball."

But even Somerville finally cooled off, and in the end it was Mustaf who made the difference.

"It seemed as if {Mustaf} waited until they needed him to play," Somerville said. "Then he became more aggressive."

Said Wootten, "All of a sudden, you begin to forget about {Mustaf}. Then you say, 'Forget that noise, get it to Jerrod.'"

The Mustangs got off to a strong start in the game, due mainly to an effective pressing defense and their success in keeping the ball away from Mustaf. The Mustangs held the 6-10 center to only two points in the opening quarter, and led, 14-10.

In the second quarter, the Mustangs increased their lead to as much as 19-12 with 6:45 left, but DeMatha finally began getting the ball inside to Mustaf, who led a 21-8 run that gave DeMatha its 33-27 halftime lead. Mustaf scored 12 of the Stags' 23 second-quarter points.

The DeMatha run was keyed by a pair of offensive follows by reserve forward Kenneth Blakeney off missed foul shots.

In the third quarter, DeMatha was unable to build its lead past five because of Somerville, who brought the Mustangs as close as one with a 17-footer with 1:30 left in the quarter. In fact, it appeared that the Mustangs had tied the game on that Somerville shot because the referees originally signalled a three-pointer. But 15 seconds later, the extra point was taken off. That was as close as the Mustangs got, as the Stags scored 17 straight points, including the 15 fourth-quarter points.

The loss was especially painful for Somerville, who missed a long jumper in the teams' first meeting that would have won the game for the Mustangs.

"{After the first game} we knew we had a chance to win if we came out here and played correctly," Somerville said. "But we didn't get rebounds and we couldn't run the break."

McNamara Coach Marty Waters also thought rebounding was the key to the game.

"We didn't do a good job keeping {Mustaf} off the boards," Waters said. "You can overcome poor shooting if you get the offensive rebounds, but we didn't."