Unbeaten Coolidge established itself as the premier boys basketball team in the Interhigh League last night.

The Colts jumped all over Anacostia early, taking a 9-0 lead and never looking back during a 71-58 victory at Anacostia.

Coolidge (6-0 overall and 4-0 in the league) has beaten all four league rivals by an average of 23 points. In addition to last night's big victory over the Indians (6-1, 3-1), the Colts have beaten Spingarn (by 23 points), expected to be their chief challenger for title honors.

"This was a big game for us going into the holidays," said Coolidge Coach Len Farello. "Tommy {Hargrove} is a fine coach and you have to play well to beat his teams. We wanted to go inside early and that combined with some good defense early and Donald {Hodge}, gave us a good start."

Hargrove agreed his team was tentative in the opening minutes and couldn't get in synch until after intermission.

"No substitute for age and experience," he said. "Maybe a bit too early to play them. They are a good team."

Anacostia's overzealousness and inexperience showed in the early minutes. The hosts failed to score on their first nine possessions and slowly fell out of the game.

Hodge controlled inside, scoring six of his 19 points, getting four of his 11 rebounds, making a steal and two assists in helping his team stretch a 9-0 advantage to a 20-5 lead after one period.

With him scoring inside and Charles Hatcher (24 points) and Anthony Riley (11 points) from the perimeter, the Colts built their lead to 27. Hodge got seven more, Hatcher broke free for three baskets and Riley made his third three-pointer of the game and 19th of the season, as Coolidge left the court with a 42-20 lead at the half.

"Hodge is doing everything for us," Farello said. "He is the leader and the guys look for him. And it helps to have two good shooters like Riley and Hatcher."

Anacostia, enjoying its best start in four seasons, played much better in the second half. Sterling Robinson (21 points) and Jimmie Walker (15) began getting and making their shots but could not make a dent in the deficit. "We were much better in the second half," Hargrove said. "At the half, we told the kids to go back and do the things we pratice. Play good defense and work on offense. We stunk on defense in the first half. We picked up the intensity the second half and we did outscore them although Coolidge did sub."

Despite the Indians' resurgence, Coolidge maintained its lead and led by 57-35 going into the last eight minutes.

Led by Robinson, Walker and Joseph Dorsey, Anacostia staged a nice mini-comeback that at least served to rebuild confidence. Two inside baskets from Robinson and a three-pointer from Dorsey made it a 13-point game.

But Coolidge, looking ahead to a Christmas tournament in Las Vegas, was not about to blow the lead. It settled down long enough to score a couple of easy baskets and free throws to assure itself of the win.

Hargrove was pleased with his team's determination and second half efforts.

"We don't have a Hodge and in the tough games you need that big person in the middle," he said. "We have a young team and they're learning. We'll get better."