Molloy Stanners win one for ailing coach Curran

By Dylan Butler

But conspicuously missing from the Stanners' 62-50 win was the face of Molloy basketball, as legendary coach Jack Curran missed the game because of a stomach virus.Curran had missed one game in 48 years coaching both baseball and basketball at the Briarwood school – a road basketball game at St. Dominic's in the 1993-94 season because of pneumonia.Friday's league game against St. Francis Prep was the third game last week that Curran was bedridden in his Rye home.”It caught me by surprise,” St. Francis Prep coach Tim Leary said. “I didn't have a chance to scout them. I knew he had the flu, but I didn't know he missed three games.”Said Molloy athletic director Mike McCleary, an assistant basketball coach: “It's strange for us all. It's a testament to him that the kids can play the game in his system when he's not even here.”But Curran wouldn't have to wait long to get details of his team's first league win. His phone would soon be ringing off the hook.In his call to his coach, Milan Prodanovic would tell Curran about being sidelined because of foul trouble.But the sharp-shooting senior guard broke out in the fourth quarter, leading Molloy (8-6, 1-2 CHSAA AA East) to a critical 10-2 run after St. Francis Prep rallied to cut the Stanners' lead to 39-37.Prodanovic (12 points) buried a pair of three-pointers and fed Kevin Garlan on a drive through the paint that opened up a 51-39 lead and forced Leary to call a timeout.”It was weird,” Prodanovic said. “My whole career, he's always been there, every single practice, every game.” “We played as good as any team in this league Tuesday night and had a chance to win, and probably should have won a game against St. Raymond's and then played with not one bit of intensity or intelligence in the first half,” Leary said. “That's been kind of what we've been doing all year.”Picking up the scoring slack for Prodanovic was Rocco Rubino, who scored a game-high 17 points, and Dennis O'Grady and Freddy Dorgler added 10 points apiece for the Stanners.”When Milan went out, I started hitting a couple of shots and other guys were stepping up,” Rubino said.Ray McKie had 13 points and Billy Dupree and Jermaine Adegbola had 12 points apiece for St. Francis Prep, which fell to 6-8, 0-3 in the CHSAA.Things were back to normal for Molloy Monday, when Curran rejoined the team.”He's real tough,” Prodanovic said. “I'm surprised [he was out], but I think he just wanted to make sure he's 100 percent.”Reach Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.

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