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Owasco farm under investigation for worker living conditions
OWASCO — Nicole Catalfano said she wanted to cry.
Four adults and five children have been living in squalor on a dairy farm in Owasco since December, and Catalfano helped them pack up their belongings Friday and leave.
With temperatures dropping and a light sprinkle falling, young women and children carried out hampers and trash bags filled with food and clothes through the mud and to a van. A few baby calves looked out from their hutches at a nearby fenced-in area, while Melrose Farm owner Joe Tidd and his wife looked on, shaking their heads in disbelief.
The house for migrant workers on Melrose Road looks like a barn structure turned into living quarters. The bedroom ceilings are so low that most people can't stand up straight, and stained mattresses without bedding lay plopped on a dirty floor. The upstairs bedroom is a converted attic with sloping ceilings to an apex. Walls, ceilings and floors are made mostly from particle board, and mold and dirt cake the floors, carpet and cabinets. A sickly sweet manure and urine smell permeates the rooms, which have sheets covering the windows.
Tidd was issued a cease and desist order by the town of Owasco for housing workers, and the Workers Center of Central New York is helping the families file wage complaints with the state Department of Labor. The center, along with volunteers like Catalfano and others from local churches, assisted the families in moving out Friday.
They will be housed in a hotel for the short-term, but volunteers have found an apartment for the nine people, which they will move into soon.
Owasco Town Supervisor Ed Wagner said the Cayuga County Health Department, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, town code enforcement and other agencies are all investigating the farm. Wagner has seen photos of the migrant workers' living conditions and said they were horrible.
The town of Owasco has issued a cease-and-desist order to an Owasco farm regarding conditions inside a building where workers live.
"I think it will put an emphasis on other farms who are hiring this type of employment that they need to treat people fairly, and I wouldn't let my dog live in a situation like that," he said.
Meanwhile two workers are still living in a trailer adjacent to the house that the families were living in, said Rebecca Fuentes, lead organizer for the workers center. She said the trailer does not have hot water or septic.
Wagner said the cease and desist orders were filed around Feb. 10, and Tidd has 30 days to vacate the structures. Every day there are occupants, however, Tidd could be fined or receive jail time, Wagner added.
"He needs to close this and provide dignified housing for employees," Fuentes said. "Even if they don't charge rent, it's their responsibility to provide good housing."
Lady Mazariegos, one of the workers, spoke with The Citizen with Fuentes translating from Spanish to English. The 23-year-old said Tidd had not paid her all of her wages over the last couple of weeks. When she and her family arrived in December, she said the house was in terrible condition with lots of cockroaches, mice and rats running around, and a bad smell in the water.
The family was concerned about electrical wiring, too. It was not underground, and many light fixtures and sockets were exposed throughout the house. With young children living in the home, Fuentes said it was a very dangerous situation.
"Right now it's a little bit better, but when we came in it took about two days and two nights to clean it," Mazariegos said.
Tidd did not charge rent, but Mazariegos said if they had earned more, she would have been willing to pay.
Fuentes said there were other incidents with other workers prior, who had been fired at the farm for complaining about living conditions.
"Many times when they're working at the farm, they're very concerned about retaliation so they decide to just do it later or when they leave, put in complaints," she said. "In general it's very difficult for them, because they depend on housing for their jobs."
Marty Fefer, of Fleming, stood outside the farm to protest the conditions. He said he's been bringing food and clothing to workers on the farm for the past eight months.
Fefer said Tidd has also been discharging human waste into his farm's manure pit and spreading it on fields in the watershed, which Wagner confirmed. County Environmental Health Director Eileen O'Connor said her department was aware that the workers' housing did not have a septic system, and it issued a letter to Tidd requesting he install one.
Tidd said it was untrue that he was transferring human waste to his manure pit, and said he did have a septic system. O'Connor said she did not believe the health department had received a response from Tidd as of Friday.
Standing in the mud and watching the families move out Friday, Tidd appeared incredulous at the effort underway. Then he pointed up to the house with a gloved hand at an open window.
"The heat is on," he told a reporter from The Citizen. "That is constant. Constant."
He said there had been issues with this particular group of workers. On Wednesday, he said, he told them they could work until Friday, but they'd have to move out over the weekend. The families say they were told to get out right away.
Tidd said he has had multiple contacts with Owasco Code Enforcement Officer J. Patrick Doyle, and planned to address whatever needs to be addressed inside the house.
"I never ever deny we have to do something to the house," he said. "I get it. However, there are cows here, 350 cows that have to be milked three times a day."
Tidd said Dairy Farmers of America had conducted an animal welfare meeting at the farm earlier in the week and found the cows healthy and clean.
As far as the workers' wages, Tidd said they would come to the farm with the idea that "you got paid X." This group, he said, complained that they weren't getting enough hours. Finally, he said, he'd had enough and told them to leave by the weekend.
"They didn't like what we said, so here we are with all this demonstration," Tidd said.
Inside the Schine: How the Auburn theater's prospective new owner will restore it
The effort to restore the Auburn Schine Theater may have more momentum behind it now than ever before.
It was 20 years ago in January that the Cayuga County Arts Council purchased the dilapidated South Street building in order to resurrect the art deco movie palace that opened there in 1938. The council started by replacing the building's leaky roof later that year and its distinct green and terracotta doors in 2007. But for the better part of the last decade, the project has stagnated.
It was also in January, however, that crews finished removing the source of that stagnation: the Schine's asbestos and other hazardous materials. With people now able to enter the building safely, and a recent $1.2 million grant from the state, the project once again has the room and the resources to move forward. It is expected to cost $6 million and conclude by October 2019.
Those estimates come from Bowers Development, of Syracuse, which has partnered with the arts council to restore the Schine — and plans to buy it.
The sale was facilitated by the city of Auburn. In June, the city allocated $800,000 from its Community Development Block Grant accounts to fund the removal of the Schine's hazardous materials. Office of Planning and Economic Development Director Jennifer Haines said Jan. 26 that the city allocated the money to attract a new private-sector owner who would move the project forward. Asked why the city wanted to do that, though, Haines declined further comment. Records suggest the council, a nonprofit, did not pay back a $13,434 loan from the city in the mid-2000s.
Per the city's wishes, the council initially planned to sell the Schine to Bowers. Later, the plan changed: The council would transfer ownership of the building to Schines Theater LLC, a company it would co-own with Bowers. But Feb. 2, board Chair Ed Onori said the council has learned it can't co-own an LLC with a private company without affecting its nonprofit status, leaving Bowers the sole owner of the LLC — and, if the sale happens, the Schine. Onori said the council would still advise Bowers on the restoration and retain a leadership role in the LLC, such as a seat on its board.
Regardless, any change in the Schine's ownership will require the approval of the state comptroller and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, plus a written opinion from the state attorney general. The requirement exists because the office holds a preservation covenant on the building until July 2036 due to grants it has awarded the council.
Onori said the council and Bowers are preparing their request for the office to approve the transfer of ownership. In an email, a representative of the office said only that it has guided the council and Bowers on submitting the request, and that when the office approves such transfers, the preservation covenant is "usually" transferred to the new owner.
Meanwhile, council communications Chair Michelle Milewski said in January that it's "working with the state authorities to lift the covenants. Although progress is being made nothing is finalized yet." She later added that the council has "no reason to believe" that the state will not approve the transfer. If the office doesn't approve it, she continued, "we will deal with any issues that arise." One issue would be the fate of the Schine's funds: The city allocated the $800,000 on the condition of Bowers' involvement, and Schines Theater LLC is the named recipient of the $1.2 million state grant.
Bowers Development President Bryan Bowers did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
However, The Citizen has obtained Bowers Development's plan to restore the Schine from the state historic preservation office through a Freedom of Information Law request. Consulting Bowers on the plan is Syracuse architect Crawford & Stearns, which has previously worked with the council on the project. The architect submitted the plan to the office for review in September.
In a Sept. 13 email to Crawford & Stearns architect Jonathan Carnes, also obtained through the FOIL request, Historic Site Restoration Coordinator Olivia Brazee responded to the plan: "We are very pleased to see a project that so appropriately adaptively reuses such a stellar example of an Art Deco movie palace. We anticipate that this will be a very successful project for Auburn."
Twenty years ago in January, the Cayuga County Arts Council purchased the Auburn Schine Theater in order to restore it.
In a Sept. 18 letter to Carnes, Brazee added, "It is SHPO’s opinion that the proposed undertaking will have No Adverse Effect on historic resources."
The 10-page plan is part two of a Historic Preservation Certification Application. It details the current status of every part of the Schine, stage to ceiling, as well as the work Bowers is proposing for it. The prefix "re-" appears throughout: In short, Bowers plans to restore what it can and recreate what it can't by referring to period photos and architect John Eberson's original drawings.
For instance, those who walk through the Schine's doors will see the historic paint scheme and finishes restored to the main lobby, which Crawford & Stearns called "the most intact space" in the building. The mezzanine lounge will be used as a bar and concession area, and the lower lounge, once filled with feet of water, will have its tile, molding and other features repaired or replicated.
The auditorium will be reopened to the lobby with the removal of the storage rooms and raised floor that were built under the balcony in 1980, the year the theater ceased to be the Auburn Music Hall and reopened as Charlie's Night Club. Gating access to the auditorium, atop a new leveled floor, will be automatic sliding glass doors.
The auditorium's historic ceiling and decorative features will return with new plaster-like finishes that mimic the originals. Decorative paint will be matched to salvaged samples, and surviving features like the faux balconies will be "carefully documented to allow for molding in either cast plaster or fiberglass," the plan says. The sound-absorbing auditorium wall system will also be "reconstructed and covered with period-appropriate fabric of similar characteristics and appearance." And the walls' signature shooting stars and other celestial imagery will return, Onori said.
The stage, where much of the building's water damage was concentrated, will be rebuilt with a new curved extension. Bowers' plan says the extension will cover the orchestra pit, its curvature following the pit's shape, but Onori said it has yet to be decided whether there will be a pit. The 15-foot stage extension and raised floor that were added in 1981 have been removed.
Seating, meanwhile, will be different. The Schine's rows of 1,700 fixed seats were removed along with its hazardous materials. In order to make the auditorium able to host not just artistic events but weddings, conventions and more, the angled section of its floor will be remodeled into three tiered platforms. Pipe railings will be installed at their transitions, steps and ramps. On those tiers, Onori said, will be movable tables and chairs that can be set up like a banquet hall, rowed or removed from the floor altogether, depending on what's taking place at the theater.
Balcony seating could be the same tiered setup, fixed rows like before or a combination, Onori said. In case the rows are rebuilt, he added, one seat and several end caps were saved for reference.
Onori also said the capacity of the restored Schine has yet to be determined because it is subject to inspection by the city's Code Enforcement Office. But 1,200 is an "unofficial target," he said. Milewski added that the capacity may decrease from the theater's heyday because its new seats will have to be "accessible and accommodating for the entire public."
While the new auditorium will be able to host movies, live music and other events artistic and non, it's unclear from Bowers' plan whether the restored Schine will be able to accommodate professional theater. In 2010, the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival's then-producing artistic director, Ed Sayles, outlined several reasons the festival couldn't program at the building. Among them were its lack of space for a dock to load sets, its lack of a fly system to maneuver those sets, and its lack of space to house such a system without raising its ceiling.
Onori responded by saying the first priority for the council and Bowers is reopening the Schine so it can make money, which means "trying to see how we can accommodate people who want to use the space." The festival's current producing artistic director, Brett Smock, is not presently one of them: Smock told The Citizen last year that the venue is too big for the festival to program there.
Whatever graces the Schine's marquee in October 2019, the words could also look a little different than they did in 1938. Bowers plans to restore the structure's sign panels and metal trim, and "replace missing and/or heavily damaged components with new (ones) to match originals." Hanged letters will once again tout events on the section facing South Street, Onori said, but LED signs will be installed on the two sections facing the sidewalk. Bowers will also use Eberson's drawings to replicate and reinstall the vertical blade sign that was removed in 1970 "if funds allow."
For now, though, the Schine has been stripped to its brick and ironwork. Removing its hazardous materials meant removing the withered remains of the shooting stars on its auditorium walls and other defining characteristics of the art deco theater. But Milewski reassured those who saw the bare structure in January and felt worried about the fate of the historic building.
"The structure of the building is intact, and the original ironwork that held many of the details of the theater that made it so unique are still in place," she said.
And if the Schine does reopen after 20 years of anticipation in October 2019, it won't be exactly the same theater where people saw "Planet of the Apes" or "Star Wars" decades ago. Its rowed seats may be gone and the words on its marquee may be digital. But the state historic preservation office won't allow anything less than a faithful restoration, Milewski said.
"The theater has to have the same 'wow factor' or ambiance when you walk in that it did 80 years ago," she said.
New brewpub to open in downtown Auburn
AUBURN — Scott and Michelle DeLap are looking forward to their Next Chapter.
The Auburn natives will open the Next Chapter Brewpub inside Genesee Center in May, they told The Citizen. The craft brewery and restaurant will be located next to Thirsty Pug Craft Beer Market.
Overseeing the beer will be Scott. A graduate of Southern Cayuga High School, he moved to Rochester with Michelle shortly after they married. His fascination with craft beer began there in the late '90s, when he was working for Eastman Kodak's information technology department. At the time, the High Falls area included an Empire Brewing brewpub with "the best fish fry in town," he said.
The DeLaps later moved to Stamford, Connecticut, when Scott took a job as director of IT for French liquor producer Pernod Ricard, owner of the Absolut vodka and Jameson whiskey brands. While traveling and promoting those brands, Scott said, he developed a passion for bartending and mixing drinks. Then, a little more than a year ago, he and Michelle started homebrewing.
Michelle, meanwhile, has many relatives who worked at Auburn restaurants. She helped out at Newcomb's Tavern, which her brother-in-law owned, and Hofbrau, where her grandmother was a cook. After marrying Scott, Michelle stayed home with their three children, but worked part-time at restaurants. She's waitressed, hostessed and even managed a few Dunkin' Donuts locations, she said.
Recently, Scott and Michelle got the urge to return home to be with their family, they said. But it was also their family who inspired what Scott and Michelle would do back in Auburn.
One bitterly cold January afternoon, Joe Shelton and Mark Grimaldi walked into Prison City P…
Having a daughter and several other relatives with wheat allergies led Scott to experiment with gluten-free beers, he said. Though some breweries make them, he continued, they're "not really available." And that's why one of the Next Chapter Brewpub's featured beers will be gluten-free. Scott also plans to brew non-alcoholic beer there, he said.
With a 3-barrel system, Scott will also brew standards like India pale ales and a dunkelweizen (a dark German wheat beer) that's "popular in my circle," he said. But he's eager to experiment. By finding niches, Scott continued, the Next Chapter can fit comfortably into the area's growing craft beer scene alongside Prison City Pub & Brewery and The Good Shepherds Brewing Co.
"We're not here to compete directly. We don't think we could keep up with the big boys in town," he said. "But certainly there's room for other types of beers they don't get involved in."
As for food, Next Chapter will start with paninis and hors d'oeuvres, Michelle said. From there, menu plans include wood-fired pizzas, which will have their own gluten-free, dairy-free and other allergy-sensitive options. Both the food and the beer will be locally sourced as much as possible, she and Scott said: Whether it's meat, cheese or a guest beer on tap, it'll come from nearby.
The DeLaps are excited for their Genesee Center location, where they began construction weeks ago. The brewpub will be surrounded by the Auburn Schine Theater, which is being restored, and Auburn Public Theater, which will soon undergo a $1.2 million expansion. The Equal Rights Heritage Center will also be a short walk away down South Street, they noted.
"We're pretty happy with our location," Scott said. "I think we got a pretty sweet spot."
Gallery: Cayuga County's new craft beer scene
Aug. 9, 2015: Four craft breweries have sprouted up in Cayuga County within the past year, and along with a new craft beer market, they've all seen sales surpass their original projections. Local brewers talk about what they have planned next and the state of the craft brewing industry.
Laughter and enduring love: Moravia brothers, wives celebrate 65 years of marriage
Over a year ago, two area couples from Moravia — both celebrating 65 years of marriage this summer — were nominated for The Citizen's annual Valentine's Day story highlighting couples who have been married for more than 50 years.
The stories of Willard and Gloria Jackson and Charles and Mildred Jackson are unique. Willard and Charles are brothers, and they grew up with Gloria and Mildred, who have also always been close friends.
The four of them grew up in the same neighborhood their whole lives, getting together to play softball in the summers or slide down the hills in the winter. Gloria has even lived on the same street her whole life, and now she and Willard live in the very same house where Mildred happened to live many years ago.
“We've always been friends with them,” Mildred said of Gloria and Willard. “We've always done things together.”
Willard said Gloria and Mildred were “the best of friends in school.”
“And these two being brothers, they were always with us,” Mildred added.
As the group got older and moved on from softball, they would go into the village on Saturday nights to see movies. Their parents would sit in their cars or pick up groceries while they waited, Gloria and Mildred explained. Back then, Charles said, movies only cost 10 or 15 cents.
Although they grew up together, neither of the Jackson couples had their first dates until high school.
Charles and Mildred had their first date on a hayride when they were about 18. “She's a year older than I am,” Charles added, grinning.
“Remember what our first date was?” Willard asked Gloria with a twinkle in his eye. “It was a boat ride on Owasco Lake.” Willard added that they were high school freshmen at the time.
“That's where it all started,” Gloria said. She said they didn't stay together all those years, and there was a period of time after high school when they weren't going out together.
“When we was going, or Willard and Gloria were going, we'd go dancing on Friday nights,” Charles said. Often, it was square dancing, Willard added.
The couples also loved to play cards together, except for when Charles and Willard would cheat, Gloria and Mildred said.
The entire living room erupted with laughter as Charles, Mildred, Gloria and Willard each reminisced, taking turns telling pieces of a funny experience they shared, along with another friend, while still dating.
“The five of us were sitting in the car, talking and fooling around, you know, and our friend kept blowing the horn and my father came out with his boots on and said 'Get in the house, right now!'” Mildred said.
It was around 9 or 10 at night, and Willard was in the driver's seat. But their friend, whom Charles described as a troublemaker, kept blowing on the horn. Mildred's father was in the house, blinking the light to tell her it was time to come inside, Willard said. When Mildred's father came outside, he knocked on Willard's window.
“He told me never to come back again,” Willard said with a laugh.
Following high school, Gloria went on to business school in Syracuse, and Willard and Mildred jumped right into jobs. Charles quit school on Valentine's Day in 1951 and went to work on a farm.
“I was 16, and I can remember my dad said, 'You're not going to stay home and do nothing,' so I said, 'I'm not, Dad, I already got a job,' and I did,” Charles said.
Times were different back then. The group recalled their first job's wages ranged from $1.20 to $1.60 per hour, or $20 to $37.50 per week.
Taking the leap into marriage seemed to be another thing the couples did together, as they both got married in the summer of 1953. Charles and Mildred tied the knot Aug.1, and Willard and Gloria followed on Sept. 5.
“It was busy for (Charles and Willard's) parents, that's for sure,” Gloria said with a laugh.
Both couples had family-held backyard receptions, and they all agreed their weddings were more simple and intimate compared to today's weddings.
“We didn't spend thousands of dollars to do a wedding reception,” Willard said.
Gloria added, “If you didn't have the money in your pocket to pay for it to start with, you didn't do it, that's all there was to it."
Once married, the couples still lived near each other. Charles and Mildred started out in a 27-foot trailer, and Mildred and Willard lived above his grandmother's home.
They continued to find ways to entertain themselves and, sometimes, their fun included pranks.
“Years ago, back at that time, they had 'hornings' for newly married couples,” Gloria said. Usually, people would do a horning for a couple about a month after they got married, Charles added.
“Your friends would come to your house, they'd wait until you would be in bed, and they'd come pounding on your door and say, 'I want you to feed me!'” Willard said.
Once in the newlyweds' home, friends would pull relatively harmless pranks, like putting salt or sugar in someone's bed, pouring the wife's perfume on the husband's underclothes or, as it happened to Charles and Mildred, placing a live chicken in your home.
Willard and Charles, however, didn't save all their pranks for after weddings. During their older brother Harold's wedding reception, they jacked up his car just enough that one wouldn't notice, but high enough that the wheels only spun when Harold and his wife, Joan, tried to leave.
“He got a little upset,” Willard remembered, as he and Charles laughed.
The brothers were always close growing up, and had a good bit of practice when it came to pulling pranks. “Back when we were kids, a lot of people had outhouses and we used to tip them over. And one day, we tipped one over and there was a man in it!” Willard shared this and the whole group burst out laughing.
While the Jacksons all like to have fun together, they also have well-weathered advice for marriages today from their nearly 65 years of experience.
“Marriage is a commitment. It's forever, so you'd better think about what you're saying yes to and what it means,” Gloria said. She added that back then, "You really took the 'for better or for worse, for richer or poorer'” seriously. Gloria and Willard didn't have much planned at the time: “We just got married,” Willard said.
Gloria added, “I think you do everything for your spouse and you don't do anything to hurt them."
Both couples highly valued companionship and advised couples to never, ever go to bed mad.
“If we argued or got mad, we'd get it over with it before the day was over,” Charles said. Mildred added, "You've got to discuss things. You can't always agree, that doesn't make life go easy.”
Both couples suggested focusing on what you really need, instead of everything you want, especially if you can't afford it yet. Gloria shared that sometimes her and Willard would wonder how they would pay for certain things, but said they just kept “plugging on.”
“I remember saying, 'If we don't have any bread on the table, we'll pay the bills,'” Gloria said. “I remember that,” Willard chimed in.
“You'll have your hard times and you'll have your good times,” Mildred said. “When we got out of school, I didn’t think we'd be married this long or have this many kids, but that's what happens.”
“I wouldn't change a thing,” Charles added.
Mildred and Charles have five children, six grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Willard and Gloria have three children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Willard and Charles come from a large family themselves, having five siblings. All seven siblings are still healthy and live on their own. All of them, along with each of their spouses, are exceptionally close and still get together monthly to share friendship, coffee and treats.
Willard and Charles warned that time really does pass quickly.
“You look ahead, like with us, 65 years ahead, it seems like a long time. But you look back 65 years it seems like yesterday. It goes by pretty fast. The older you get, the faster it goes,” Willard said.
Gloria continued, “Really, life is all about the journey getting from day one to whatever that end day is. You're not always going to agree with everybody and what they do ... but you let it go, really.
“We all look forward to another upteen years, as long as we're healthy and we know what's going on.”
Auburn boys basketball advances after overcoming late deficit against Utica Proctor
AUBURN — Auburn boys basketball delivered Utica Proctor its first loss of the season back in November, and nearly three months later the Maroons handed the Raiders their last.
Despite trailing by eight points with under seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Auburn rallied to defeat Utica Proctor 76-73 in the opening round of the Section III, Class AA playoffs Friday at Auburn High School.
Gallery: Auburn defeats Utica Proctor in Section III, Class AA first round boys basketball
Despite trailing by eight points with under seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Auburn rallied to defeat Utica Proctor 76-73 in the opening round of the Section III, Class AA playoffs Friday at Auburn High School.
The Maroons advance to the section quarterfinals for the second straight year — Auburn will take on Central Square Tuesday.
"I think we like adversity," Maroons coach Jim Marsh said. "We like to get down and fight back. I don't know if we can handle having the lead, but we came back and hit the big shot and hung on. Proctor is a really athletic team. They were ready for us."
It was a whirlwind game that encapsulated a whirlwind couple of weeks for Auburn — senior guard Majesty Wilder missed the final two games of the regular season after allegedly breaking the district's code of conduct on Feb. 6, but he was reinstated on Wednesday in time for the Maroons' first sectional game.
"It's been crazy," Wilder said. "I want to give all the credits to my teammates. They grinded. I was out for a little bit, they stayed together and the energy was the same. It feels great. I feel like the city deserves this and it's been a long time since we could really make some noise with a sectional run."
Wilder finished with 15 points on 5-of-7 attempts from the free-throw line. He was credited with eight assists, four rebounds and four steals. Scotty Minnoe led the team in scoring with 23 points (five rebounds, three blocks), while Kaleb Cook (four rebounds, six assists, seven steals) scored 19 points and Evan Donovan (eight rebounds, three steals) chipped in with 13. Shaheed Beal added six points, seven assists, four steals and three blocks.
Auburn racked up 18 steals as a team, but it was the forced turnover with 49.5 seconds left that stood above the rest. Ahead 72-71 in the final minute, Cook snuck up behind the Utica Proctor ball-handler and jarred the ball loose, and that led to a layup by Donovan moments later to put the Maroons in front by three.
Wilder joked that the team has such success stealing the ball because Auburn "reaches a lot and it causes foul trouble."
The Raiders, after missing a pair of 3-pointers, converted a layup with 10 seconds remaining to cut Auburn's lead to one. Utica Proctor fouled Auburn's Minnoe on the ensuing inbounds pass, but his first try on a one-and-one from the free-throw line caught rim and landed in the Raiders' possession.
However, Utica Proctor never put up a potential game-winning shot. After crossing midcourt, the Raiders threw an errant pass out of bounds to hand possession, and the game, back to the Maroons.
Neither team managed to pull away during the first half — the Raiders led by one after the first quarter but Auburn fought back to force a 37-37 tie at halftime. The Maroons held a lead as late as the 3:45 mark of the third quarter, but Utica Proctor took a five-point advantage entering the fourth and went up by as much as eight in the final frame.
It didn't matter. Auburn chipped away and chipped away, eventually regaining the lead on a 3-pointer from Cook with 1:40 remaining. The Raiders had their chances to close the door on the Maroons' season over the final minute, but instead its Auburn that's moving on.
"As a senior you never know if this is your last game or not, so you just want to leave everything out on the floor," Wilder said. We were just like, 'You know what, if we play defense and box out we win this game.' That's what we had to do. We got the stops, got some easy layups and that's the story of the game right there ... defense and rebounding."
Now Auburn advances to the section quarterfinals to face a familiar opponent in Central Square. The Maroons and Red Hawks, along with Jamesville-DeWitt, locked in a three-way tie atop the SCAC Empire Conference with Auburn and Central square splitting the season series.
Auburn is hoping a full lineup will make the difference in the third meeting — the Maroons topped the Red Hawks by two points on Jan. 16 without Cook, and then fell by 11 on Feb. 8 without Wilder.
"We've not played them with both Majesty and Kaleb in the game," Marsh said. "They're a tough team. They're very well-coached by coach (Jay) Adams. They've got a couple bigs that are really athletic that play hard, they've got a pretty good point guard who can shoot it. They're going to give us a great game up there. I'm sure it's going to be another two or three-point game and I'll lose what little hair I have left."
Auburn boys hockey scores four times in second period to beat Oswego, advance to section semifinals
AUBURN — After a slow start where they went down by a goal, the Maroons found their rhythm in the second period.
Four different Auburn players netted a goal in the middle frame, as the Maroons defeated the Oswego Buccaneers, 6-2, in the Section III, Division II boys hockey quarterfinals at Casey Park Thursday.
Auburn will take on either Skaneateles or New Hartford in the semifinals. The Lakers and Spartans meet Friday in Skaneateles.
"We just had to start playing to our potential," Maroons coach Mike Lowe said. "We knew we were going to score goals. It was just a matter of time. We just had to come out, get our feet moving and start playing better. That first period wasn't our best period and they knew it. They came out much stronger with more energy in the second period."
Auburn's Johnny Malandruccolo registered two goals and three assists, while Jake Morin tallied a pair of goals and helpers. The duo have led Section III, Division II in points all season.
"At times, it's difficult for those guys because teams key on them so much now," Lowe said. "It's difficult because it can be frustrating. They did a good job keeping their heads when teams shadow them like they did tonight. There are things we can do to combat that, and the kids did a nice job dealing with it, not getting frustrated and keep playing."
The Maroons' Ross Burgmaster had a goal and two assists, Brendan Williams scored once, and Aidan Hastings and RJ Szakalski each recorded in an assist. Jack Kalabanka finished with 25 saves for the win.
The Buccaneers opened the scoring 38 seconds in when Ryan Wood chipped in a rebound. Oswego didn't allow Auburn to get consistent offensive pressure early, and the Maroons had just four shots on goal in the first period.
"The first period we weren't playing with much energy and sitting back on our heels," Lowe said. "I thought they came out pretty aggressive on us and bottled us up in our zone at times. When we did get it in the zone, they were packing it in and blocking shots. We talked about that and finding better shooting lanes. The kid made nice adjustments."
Auburn made a statement by scoring early in the second when Burgmaster led the rush up the right side and wired a shot past the Oswego goalie's blocker.
"He has the potential to do that and all of our defensemen have the potential to carry the puck and make rushes like that," Lowe said. "Ross is more of a stay-at-home defenseman, but he certainly has the potential to do that. He made a nice play. He had his head up, knew where he was shooting and he was pretty excited."
Less than four minutes later Morin's shot from the right wing circle went through traffic and found the back of the net to put the Maroons ahead. Malandruccolo scored after being left alone in the slot with 5:23 left in the middle stanza, and he made a feed to Williams for another goal three minutes later.
For Lowe, one of the keys was his team's penalty kill, which kept Oswego 0-for-2 with the man-advantage in the second period and 0-for-4 on the night.
"The guys played really well in that second period and got a little momentum," Lowe said. "We killed off a couple penalties, which at times can be a momentum boost. I thought we got some energy after killing off those penalties. We got some momentum and we got some good shifts in the offensive zone. The kids did a nice job cycling and getting pucks to the net."
The Buccaneers cut the Maroons' lead to 4-2 3:46 into the third period, but the Maroons weren't done. Morin stole the puck off a defenseman's stick in the Oswego zone and scored, and Malandruccolo added an empty-netter.
Auburn (13-6-2) now awaits to see who it will play in the section semifinals. Whether it's Skaneateles or New Hartford, Lowe knows the next game will be a tough test for the Maroons.
"We've got to get better," Lowe said. "We have to play better, we have to get better and we have to go over stuff. We have to make more adjustments. It's going to be a tough game on Wednesday. We have to play our best game of the year next Wednesday to get by."