ST. JOSEPH — River Valley didn’t shoot well in Friday’s boys basketball game against Michigan Lutheran, making just 30 percent of both their field goals and free throws.

“I don’t know what happened to our offense,” River Valley coach Jason Heckathorn said. “I think we left it in Three Oaks.”

The Mustangs survived their cold night with strong defense, winning 42-21 to stay unbeaten in the Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Conference White Division.

Lutheran (1-2 BCS White, 2-2) led 11-9 early in the second quarter, but didn’t score again until late in the third. River Valley (4-0, 6-2) used a 22-0 run over that span to take control.

“I thought the defense was the catalyst to our offense today,” Heckathorn said. “Once we settled in and got our composure a little better, we were able to put the press on, create a couple steals that got some better, easier looks.”

Wil Korbel led River Valley with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Jacob Barbour scored all nine of the Mustangs’ first-quarter points on three 3-pointers. Matthew Schmidt added eight points.

Cameron Guse had 10 points and six rebounds to lead the Titans. Lutheran was hurt by 20 turnovers.

“We’re a squad that needs to value the ball,” Lutheran coach Jeff Wallace said. “It’s a goal for us every game. We lost our way there and it snowballed a little bit.”

Wallace is in his first year coaching the Titans, and said overall he’s happy with the progress his team is making.

“Regardless of what the scoreboard showed tonight, I feel like we’re getting better every day,” he said. “That’s really the only thing any coach can ask for.

“It may look rough tonight, but that’s a quality opponent down there. We respect River Valley. They’re upperclassmen-laden, returning a lot, they’ve got good, solid players.”

River Valley bounced back from a pair of non-conference losses to Bridgman and Holland Calvary.

“We want to win every night, but our goals early on were to compete and hopefully win the conference,” Heckathorn said. “Tonight was an important step towards achieving that goal.”

River Valley 42, Michigan Lutheran 21

RIVER VALLEY (42)

Jacob Barbour 3 0-0 9, Matthew Schmidt 3 1-2 8, Lennon Lange 3 0-0 6, Wil Korbel 4 1-6 10, Davyd Bronson 2 0-0 4, Josh Seifert 1 0-0 2, Tylar Montgomery 1 0-0 2, Kenny Gibson 0 1-2 1. Totals: 17 3-10 42.

LUTHERAN (21)

Andy Semenak 1 0-0 3, Adam Rosenbaum 1 0-0 2, Cameron Guse 5 0-0 10, Jordan Ramirez 1 1-1 4, Abdul Erby 1 0-2 2. Totals: 9 1-3 21.

R. Valley 9 12 12 9 — 42

Lutheran 7 4 4 6 — 21

3-point goals — River Valley 5 (Barbour 3, Schmidt, Korbel), Lutheran 2 (Semenak, Ramirez). Total fouls — River Valley 6, Lutheran 13. Fouled out — Ramirez (ML). Rebounds — River Valley 35 (Korbel 10), Lutheran 26 (Guse 6).

Records — River Valley 4-0 BCS White, 6-2; Lutheran 1-2, 2-2.

Contact: bsanders@TheHP.com, 429-1294, @HPBenSanders