Here are team-by-team previews on teams in this weekend's Metro vs. Florida Challenge at Wekiva, provided by Mustangs coach Scott Williams. games are Friday and Saturday (see event schedule):

Apopka Blue Darters:

New coach Matt Ruta inherits a program that is a sleeping giant in central Florida this season.  Led by all-purpose star Joseph Chealey (College of Charleston), the Blue Darters might be the Metro’s most athletic club.  Seniors Tyquavion Dix and Deion Fields are both dangerous, talented scorers and they are complemented by Haleem Brown, JaMontay Thompson and Willie Dennison as Apopka attacks relentlessly at both ends of the floor.

Bartow Yellow Jackets: One of Polk County’s most tradition-rich programs, Bartow brings a team expected to compete for the 7A state title.  Senior power forward Chris Perry (USF) is unstoppable inside, while junior guard Derrick Brooks has already been offered by UMass, FGCU and Ga. Southern.  Senior wing Ricky Williams gives the Jackets another prolific shooter and scorer and coach Terrence McGriff’s club will bring wave after wave of quick, physical athletes that attack you at both ends of the floor.

Boone Braves: Returning its top 5 scorers from a year ago, the Boone Braves will be a Class 8A power this season.  Senior center Schuyler Rimmer  (Stanford) dominates inside, while junior PG BJ Taylor is a highly coveted recruit.  Coach Greg Shirley’s team also seems to have found its 3rd scoring weapon in 6’4 3-point threat Robby Irvin, who now is drawing college attention as well.  Many believe Boone to be the Metro’s best team in ’12-13.

Deltona Wolves: After winning only 1 game last season, Deltona’s hiring of Denny Hinson led the way for a parade of new talent, the best of which is super 6’7 sophomore Chad Brown, sophomore Torrey Howell and freshman Evan Hinson.  Senior point guard Marko Smith runs the Wolves and has piqued the interest of college recruiters.  Watch out for the Wolves!

Dr. Phillips Panthers: No one in Florida can match the Panthers’ consistent excellence (19 straight 20+ win seasons), nor the legacy of major Division 1 signees over the past decade, a list joined by senior scoring machine Rashawn Powell (Memphis), who may well lay claim to the state’s best scoring guard.  He is joined by underrated Tyriefe Beard, a multi-talented 6’2 forward as coach Anthony Long’s captains in hopes of yet another deep playoff run.

East Ridge Knights: East Ridge hopes that a blend of experience (7 seniors) with young talent (2 sophomores) will lead to a successful season.  5 Knights measure 6’3 and taller, but it’s 6’0 senior guard Austin Mills that will have a large role for coach Mike Clutter’s club.

East River Falcons: Young and inexperienced (only 2 varsity returners) but with great talent and potential are the Eagles of East River.  Wilfredo Rodriguez (22 ppg) is one of Florida’s best seniors and the 6’6 forward is capable of having a huge season.  He is joined by versatile 6’ senior guard Parris Lawrence as top performers for coach Tom Tagye's club.

Edgewater Eagles: Returning all 5 starters from a 20-10 Elite 8 team a year ago, the Eagles appear able to go to the Final Four.  Junior Eddie Keith is the team’s most heralded and dynamic player, but coach Matt Turner’s club is far from a one-man team.  Seniors Josh Howard, DeAngelo Legrier and Wayne Grant all are talented, athletic performers for this experienced (7 seniors) club.

Eustis Panthers:  Returning most of its key parts from a 23-5 club from a year ago, the Panthers are back!  Senior guard Dustin Dunham, senior high-flying Anthony Allen and junior post Antwon Clayton are all versatile, talented scorers and should have big seasons for Eustis.  Coach Mike Bowe’s club should have a great chance to playing into March this season.

Evans Trojans: Central Florida’s biggest hoops story was the beginning of the Chucky Atkins era at Evans.  An influx of amazing talent followed, led by USF-signee Drekalo Clayton, one of Florida’s best forwards.  But the Trojans have multiple weapons, as post players Jakarl Owens and Kerry Blackshear join perimeter threats Malik Smith and Prince Atkins in pushing Evans towards what they will hope to be a state title.

Fort Myers Green Wave: Somewhat off the radar in southwest Florida, the Green Wave once again is a state contender.  Returning all 5 starters and 8 lettermen, coach Scott Guttery brings a club that is deep and talented.  6’5 junior Wes Graddy and 6’2 senior Jeano Thelus lead the way , while 6’4 sophomore Mark Matthews brings great promise.

Freedom Patriots: 1 of 3 powerhouses in district 8A-4 (Boone, Dr. Phillips) the Patriots hope to make a 2nd straight postseason trip.  Coach Bobby Rego’s club is led by rising star sophomore Jonathan Jean Laurent and ultra-athletic senior Sidney Coakley.  Guards Josh Flowers and Jimmy Kealy will play a key role for a team that has the size and talent to play with anyone.

Hagerty Huskies: Last year’s sensational Final Four run finally drew deserved praise for head coach Josh Kohn and the job building Hagerty into a state power in 6 years.  This year’s club will once again be a playoff force, as 6’7 senior forward Logan Hovey (Florida Gulf Coast) and 6’5 senior Luke Doyle lead 6 returners on a mission to return to Lakeland.

Jones Tigers: Jones will play without 3 potential starters due to the state football playoffs, but remain a difficult matchup for anyone.  DeMarcus Croaker is one of the state’s premier scorers (averaged 39 ppg in 2 tip-off games) and overall talents in Florida.  Other players of note are strong Kenley Nordelus, Eric McIntosh, and freshman Kiyunjai Felton, who may well be the next great player for coach Jerry Howard.

Lake Brantley Patriots: Lake Brantley returns to the challenge with yet another talented club.  Coach Mike Cuff will rely heavily on the Mooney siblings for much of their success.  Senior Brendan is being recruited by Dartmouth, The Citadel and others, while freshman brother John is regarded as one of the state’s best 9th graders. Senior guard Jake Cooper will play a large role as well for the Patriots.

Lake Minneola Hawks: A sleeping giant in Lake County, the 2nd year Hawks are already one of the area’s best teams and stunned 8A power University last week in preseason play.  Super sophomores Anthony and Avery Brown already are high-profile recruits, while junior guard Carlyle Holder and senior Olan McCoy both are grabbing recruiting attention for coach Freddie Cole’s squad. This is a team to watch!

Lake Mary Rams: The Rams will be very young and inexperienced this season, returning just 1 starter and 1 other experienced player.  In addition, they will be incorporating 5 football players into the mix, as coach Ben Fratrik knows patience is key.  Leading the way will be junior wing Chris Molthrop who is getting recruiting interest by Ivy League programs.

Lake Highland Prep Highlanders: One of the state’s (if not the country) best teams, Lake Highland hopes to finally capture gold in March with a state title.  Junior guard Joel Berry is one of the country’s best overall players, and he leads a team with 5 returning starters  and 2 major prospects, 6’8 Denzel Davis (Rice University) and junior Jay Henderson.  Seniors Landon Stokes (Vandy-football) and BJ Simpson give coach Jeff Turner two more established veterans to help lead the way to Lakeland.