Wallace displayed an all-around game that combined on-court maturity far beyond his years coupled with athleticism that produced the highlight dunk attempt of the event [see shot No. 1 in the photo gallery linked above].
His 26-point, 11-rebound performance earned him team MVP honors, as his Kernersville (N.C.) Glenn squad cruised past Southwest Guilford (N.C.), 82-62. Wallace shot 8-of-18 from the field and 10-of-14 from the foul line.
For the 6-6 small forward, this performance was nothing out of the ordinary.
"I went out and did my thing, what coach wanted me to do and what I was able to do," Wallace said. "They were trying to shut me down but I took it to them. … [The MVP trophy] is a reward for doing what you're supposed to do."
But of course, few can do what Eric Wallace can do.
Only a sophomore, Wallace leads the team by example, and his coach cited his defensive intensity and smart play that fueled the team's run that put the game out of reach.
"Defensively he was out in the passing lanes, he got deflections," said coach Lee Reavis. "He attacked the basket in the second half to get to the foul line and didn't settle for the jumper."
Reavis went so far as to call Wallace a "coach's dream."
"He's an outstanding young man, very unselfish, sometimes to a fault," the coach said. "He can probably be a little more aggressive in certain situations. But he steps up, he's a ‘yes sir' guy, does everything I ask him to do and that's obvious when you see him play on the floor.
"He's the first one to give the ball up, first one to get a defensive rebounds. He's just a tremendous player."
Wallace's baskets came first on put-backs, then from driving to the basket, later by way of jumpshots and he finished with a flurry of high-flying assaults.
"He is turning out to be the prospect we thought he was when we first saw him as a freshman," said ScoutHoops.com analyst Dave Telep. "He plays really hard at both ends, is a great teammate and he doesn't have to have the ball in his hand to make plays – he defends, changes ends quickly, he's just a big-time player and a heck of a prospect. That's how you know he's a special player – he doesn't have to dominate the ball to be good."
And as good as Wallace is now, he's sure to have a far more developed game by the time he graduates high school, as he's showing the dedication to improve.
"The sky's the limit because he's still learning to play," Reavis said. "He's very polished for a sophomore but he can be so much more. He works extremely hard. Any time we have offseason workouts he's the first guy there."
Unsurprisingly already a focus of area colleges, and possessing scholarship offers from the major local contenders, Wallace has been spotted at a number of North Carolina games, as well as other ACC contests. Last Saturday, he was in the stands to watch the Tar Heels against Wake Forest.
But he still has two-plus years of high school ball left, and while his Glenn team was an undercard matchup at this year's SPBP Classic, don't be surprised to see him playing in the feature game in 2007.
The event director is already penciling him in.