If the Rockland sixth-graders maintain their high level of play in the coming years, the middle school Eagles and high school Tigers will be in for plenty of basketball success.

That is likely since the Rockland Recreation Department’s sixth-grade travel squad has gone 16-0 in recent weeks, including finishing undefeated in two recent tournaments as the squad’s average margin of victory was 24 points.

The weekend of March 12-14, Rockland won the Maine Basketball Festival Tournament hosted by the Bangor YMCA. The weekend of March 19-21, the locals won the Lawrence PAL tournament in Fairfield.

“The strength of this team was that they played as a team,” said Rockland coach Rich Mazurek.  “They were very unselfish and shared the ball extremely well.”

The win at Bangor was the first time Rockland has won the tournament and, if that was not enough, Rockland’s Keenan Hendricks earned the tourney’s most valuable player award.

Rockland includes Hendricks, Nick Mazurek, Andrew King, Riley Sprague, Jacob Bartlett, Josh Luttrell, Julian Starbird, Thomas Curtis, Nick Tinker, Christian Straka, Griffin Lombardo and Steven Robinson. Rich Mazurek is the head coach, while Steve Starbird, Mike King and Brian Bartlett are the assistant coaches.

This group of young athletes has a lot to look forward to if they keep playing, coach Mazurek said. “They are a smart bunch of kids with a very bright basketball future,” he said.

Recaps of Rockland’s tournament games include:

Lawrence PAL tourney

Game 1: Rockland 70, Lawrence 51 — Rockland jumped out early as the hosts were unprepared and trailed 25-10 after the first quarter. Rockland kept the pressure on the entire game and cruised the rest of the way.  Rockland was led by Sprague with 18 points, Nick Mazurek 16 and Hendricks 13.

Game 2: Rockland 55, Pittsfield 15 — Rockland received balanced scoring with all but one player scoring. King led the scoring with 10 points and Curtis followed with six.

Game 3: Rockland 59, Messalonskee 47 — Sprague sparked Rockland in the final game of the afternoon with several breakaway baskets resulting from long outlet passes from Nick Mazurek and Hendricks. Sprague’s 19 points led the attack, with Hendricks and Nick Mazurek scoring 12 each for Rockland. Coach Mazurek praised Straka for his defensive strength in the game.

Semifinal: Rockland 45, Pittsfield 15 — Rockland allowed just two points in each of the first three quarters. King led Rockland with eight points, followed by Bartlett with seven.

Championship: Rockland 55, Lawrence 45 — Rockland led by as many as 18 points in the first half and looked as though it would march to victory.  However, second-half foul trouble for Rockland and hot shooting pulled Lawrence to within five points with seven minutes to go.

To make matters worse, Hendricks fouled out with 6:45 remaining. Rockland was able to hold off Lawrence the rest of the way powered by Nick Mazurek scoring seven of his team-high 19 points in the final five minutes. Straka was called on to stop the top Lawrence offense player in the final quarter and did an exceptional job, according to coach Mazurek.

Maine Basketball Festival

Game 1: Rockland 53, Bangor YMCA 41 — Rockland jumped to an early double-digit lead over Bangor and never looked back. Hendricks scored a team-high 20 points, while Nick Mazurek added 17.

Game 2: Rockland 76, Portland 36 — Rockland started early by leading 10-0 in the first minute. Sprague led Rockland with 13 points, along with Hendricks and Nick Mazurek with 12 apiece.

Game 3: Rockland 52, Caribou 45 — Despite the close final score, Rockland led by as many as 25 points with Caribou rallying in the final five minutes to make the score close.  Hendricks again led Rockland with 15, while Sprague chipped in 10.

Semifinal: Rockland 59, Brewer 42 — Rockland jumped quickly to an 11-2 lead in the first four minutes and did not let go. Hendricks led with 23 points, followed by Straka and Sprague both 10 and Nick Mazurek eight.

Championship: Rockland 59, Bedford 41 — Rockland was pitted against Bedford from Canada, the other remaining unbeaten team in the tournament. Unlike the previous games for Rockland, Bedford took command early, leading 15-8 with about 10 minutes left in the first half. Following a timeout, Rockland started to chip away at its deficit and finished the first half on a 12-0 run to lead by five points at the break. The second half was all Rockland led by Nick Mazurek, Sprague and Hendricks.

Nick Mazurek and Hendricks dominated the boards and hit Sprague on several long outlet passes for easy hoops, the coach said. Nick Mazurek scored 13 of his team-high 19 points in the second half. Sprague and Hendricks finished with 17 and 13 points respectively.

VillageSoup sports staff can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at sports@villagesoup.com.