KitKing Trophy 2023/24: Group stage complete as eight teams advance

The quarter-finals of the 2023/24 KitKing Trophy have been confirmed.

After 13 fixtures played out over the past two days, eight teams have now booked a place in next weekend's quarters, including defending champions Hemel Storm.

The full draw and fixture details are below:

2023/24 KitKing Trophy Quarter-Final Draw

30/09/2023 - 7:30pm - City of Birmingham Rockets vs Bradford Dragons
01/10/2023 - 4pm - Reading Rockets vs Essex Rebels
01/10/2023 - 5:30pm - Derby Trailblazers vs Barking Abbey
01/10/2023 - 6pm - Hemel Storm vs Milton Keynes Breakers

We take a look at how this past weekend panned out, and how the group stage was finalised.

Group 1

A three-way tie in Group 1 meant head-to-head tiebreakers were needed to separate Reading, Barking and Worthing.

With all three teams sporting a 2-1 record, it was the Rockets who eventually topped the pile, with Barking second and Worthing missing out.

That scenario became a reality after a weekend where Reading mauled Brighton 90-32, with Elijah Maynard (19pts, 11reb) leading the way, before Barking went to Rivermead on Sunday and emerged with an 86-82 victory.

Sam Akano's 19 points plus 15 more from Juan Manning were enough to seal a spot in the quarters for BA, with the Londoners coming up big when needed against the eventual group winners.

That means Worthing's 91-64 victory over Brighton on Sunday wouldn't be enough for Thunder to advance, with Tom Ward dropping 21 points off the bench.

Group 2

Hemel went 3-0 in Group 2 to seal top spot, picking up a pair of wins this weekend.

Saturday saw the defending champs beat London Elite 81-70 off the back of a 23-point, seven-assist, six-rebound effort from Sam Newman, before Storm claimed a 104-89 W against Thames Valley on Sunday, with Seth Swalve (28pts) and Brayden Inger (27pts, 10reb) both playing well.

Essex's 84-73 win over the Cavs on Saturday was enough to all but seal second spot in the group, with the Rebels advancing to the next round following a a 91-72 success on the road yesterday against Elite, who finish bottom of the group at 0-3.

Group 3

Newly-promoted City of Birmingham Rockets swept Group 3 with a spotless record after an entertaining 97-86 win against Milton Keynes Breakers. Captain Martyn Gayle led the Rockets with 25 points as the hosts shot an impressive 50% from the floor, cancelling out an 18-point, nine-rebound performance from Jordan Spencer.

MK would seal their spot in the quarter-finals 24 hours later as they went to Loughborough yesterday and came out on top 87-75.

The weekend's only other game in Group 3 saw Nottingham Hoods host local rivals Loughborough on Saturday, with the Riders leaving town with a hard-fought 92-84 win.

Nottingham's Landon Taliaferro (31pts) and Loughborough's Victor Ndoukou (17pts, 6reb) were the standouts in that one.

Group 4

Saturday's results set up a Sunday shootout for top spot in Group 4, adding plenty of excitement to the weekend's proceedings.

Derby got things underway by edging past Newcastle 81-78, thanks in part to a near double-double from Sam Masten (24pts, 9reb).

Bradford would then beat Manchester Magic 73-60 later on Saturday, with Justin Williams (17pts) leading the way in the tip to buzzer win.

That meant the Dragons went to Derby yesterday with a chance of sealing top spot, but that reward instead went to the Trailblazers as they prevailed 93-76. Bradford still progressed as group runners up, with Newcastle (1-2) and Manchester (0-3) rounding out the standings.

This weekend's results:

Saturday 23 September

2:30pm - Brighton Bears 32-90 Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS

 2pm - Newcastle University 78-81 Derby Trailblazers - LIVE STATS

4pm - Essex Rebels 84-73 Thames Valley Cavaliers - LIVE STATS / LIVE STREAM

6:30pm - Nottingham Hoods 84-92 Loughborough Riders - LIVE STATS

7pm - Hemel Storm 81-70 London Elite - LIVE STATS

7.30pm - City of Birmingham Rockets 97-86 Milton Keynes Breakers - LIVE STATS / LIVE STREAM

7pm - Manchester Magic 60-73 Bradford Dragons - LIVE STATS

Sunday 24 September

3.30pm - London Elite 72-91 Essex Rebels

3pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers 89-104 Hemel Storm - LIVE STATS

4pm - Reading Rockets 82-86 Barking Abbey - LIVE STATS / LIVE STREAM

6pm - Loughborough Riders 75-87 Milton Keynes Breakers - LIVE STREAM

5pm - Worthing Thunder 91-64 Brighton Bears - LIVE STATS

5:30pm - Derby Trailblazers 93-76 Bradford Dragons