Fancher hangs tough for Susquehannock
The response seemed absurd, given both Alex Fancher's appearance and the fracas he had been at the center of not a half-hour earlier. Susquehannock's junior guard was involved in an ugly incident Monday at the Warrior Holiday Tournament, when a hard foul on Fancher by Gettysburg's Benttion Hendricks sparked a melee between players from both teams. Punches were thrown in the exchange, and the game was delayed for 10 minutes while officials attempted to restore order. The fight ended with a pair of players ejected -- Hendricks and Susquehannock's Matt Olphin -- and with Fancher nursing a head injury. As he met with reporters following his team's 50-32 win, he still had a cloth bandage wrapped around his forehead. And yet Fancher greeted his first question -- How's that head feeling? -- with a wry smile. "It feels good," he said. On appearances alone, Fancher doesn't stand out. He's not particularly tall. His build is slight. For the most part, Fancher lives beyond the 3-point line, using a dead-eye shooting touch to stretch out defenses. In a game against Bermudian Springs last week, he hit eight 3-pointers. Don't let those looks fool you. Fancher is no pushover. Just look at Monday. "He's small, but he's tough," Olphin said after the game. "We whale on him a good bit in practice." Fancher knew he'd have to get stronger if he wanted to make the jump from JV to varsity this season. When asked what he did differently during this offseason, the junior replied with two words: "Weight room." Nobody's going to mistake Fancher for Mr. Universe, but so far he's shown an ability to hang with the varsity game. Fancher is averaging 12.5 points per contest, and has nailed 18 of the team's 29 3-pointers. He drained four treys Monday, including one right before halftime from well beyond the arc to hand Susquehannock a 30-21 halftime edge. "He's mentally tough," Zerfing said. "That guy put in more offseason work than anybody in our program in the last year. He was coming to all the AAUs, all the open gyms. He spent hours and hours shooting the basketball. The strides he made from last year being a JV basketball player, to this year what he's doing at the varsity level, just is a tribute to what you do when you put a lot of effort and hard work in." If Fancher's head was hurting Monday, he wasn't letting on. Asked about the extent of his head injury, he responded a "no comment." He felt well enough earlier to come on after the delay -- bandaged head and all -- and coolly drain a pair of free throws, the result of Hendricks' initial foul on him. He was subbed out immediately after those shots. Afterward, Fancher was asked to describe what the game was like. "Definitely more physical," he said. "And a lot more fun, too."