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LAKELAND - Lakewood junior Sean Johnson took one big step out of his coach's "doghouse" Wednesday night.
The 6-foot-2 guard sparked the Spartans off the bench in their 57-44 semifinal victory, tallying five rebounds and three assists in 11 minutes.
With four Lakewood starters saddled with two first-half fouls, Johnson's smart, steady play symbolized the Spartans' strength this season - their bench. It also may have earned Johnson a few more minutes on the biggest stage: Friday's state title game against Lake Howell.
"He played real aggressive," Lakewood coach Dan Wright said. "He gave us a reason to keep him in there."
Earlier in the season, that wasn't always the case. Johnson, who has played sparingly in 18 of Lakewood's 29 games, approached Wright a while back, asking him why he wasn't getting on the floor.
Quipped Wright: "You're not giving me anything. You're not giving that intensity."
Johnson responded in recent weeks, and, in return, he's giving some much-needed minutes.