Northrop girls basketball coach Doug Curtis credits the increased competition with the Bruins' recent struggles.
The Bruins (9-7) started the season 8-2, but are 1-5 in their last seven games.
There were four straight losses to ranked teams South Side, Snider, Homestead and Bishop Luers. Those four teams are a combined 56-12.
A 71-52 win against Huntington North on Wednesday helped stopped the losing streak but the struggles returned as the Bruins fell 56-54 to Bishop Dwenger on Friday.
"We went through a stretch, and that wears on you mentally," Curtis said. "That was four straight games we played there.
"If we would get back to focusing on tough defense, instead of just playing defense, we would be fine. It's tough to stop those four teams defensively."